A man who was convicted of multiple rape cases in Kunming, China during the 1990s has allegedly managed to avoid the death penalty due to his patent for an anti-theft manhole as well as his parents being in the police force.
Sun Xiaoguo was sentenced to death for the gang rape of two women in 1994, according to Southern Weekly via Shangiist.
However at the time, Sun’s mother was the police offer in charge of the criminal investigation and his stepfather was the deputy director of a district police station. Reports claim that his parents arranged for him to be tried as a minor, stating that he was 17 at the time instead of his actual age of 19.
Instead of the death penalty or a prison sentence, he faced a three-year sentence in his own home.
Sun’s crimes continued during this time. Another report alleges that Sun and his accomplices tortured two underaged girls at a nightclub by burning them with cigarettes, beating them, and even urinating on them. They were sent to a hospital after passing out.
Sun was convicted for this crime as well as several other rape cases, and was sentenced again to death in 1998. An attempted appeal was denied by the Yunan supreme court.
However, Sun never faced the death penalty. In 2012 he was released early on good behavior.
It is speculated that Sun’s release may have been thanks to his patent for an “anti-theft manhole cover,” according to Red Star News.
The Chinese government has a policy which reduces sentences due to “important technical innovations.”
Sun’s innovation was patented while he was serving time. His mother was the one who allegedly submitted the patent for him.
Since then, Sun changed his name to Li and opened several businesses including a few nightclubs. This past April, Sun was arrested for gang activity which has raised questions of how he escaped the law more than a decade ago.
Images via The Paper