Chinese Canadian rapper and pop star Kris Wu attended his closed-door trial at a court in Beijing last week, with reports saying the former EXO member could receive between three to 10 years of jail time on rape charges.
The trial was held at Chaoyang District People’s Court on Friday to protect the victims’ privacy, the Beijing High People’s Court said in a news release.
Chinese influencer Du Meizhu accused Wu, 31, of luring girls under the age of 18 into having sex under the pretense that they would be recruited as actors. In a Weibo post on July 8, 2021, Du claimed Wu date-raped her when she was 17 years old and intoxicated in his presence. She added that there are other female victims, including two minors.
The Chaoyang police detained Wu, whose real name is Wu Yifan, on July 31, 2021. He was formally arrested on Aug. 16, 2021, on rape charges once the Chaoyang District People’s Procurator in Beijing approved the arrest “after [an] investigation in accordance with the law.”
Besides rape charges, Wu is also facing “group licentiousness,” a crime that involves a person organizing group sex with three or more people over the age of 16. While no reports have been released yet on Wu’s trial verdict, some media outlets noted that Chinese courts have a 99.9% conviction rate. The official verdict will be revealed at a later date.
A person charged with rape in China can typically expect a prison sentence of three to 10 years, while statutory rape can carry a life imprisonment sentence or a death sentence.
Meanwhile, group licentiousness, which applies to anyone above the age of 16, carries up to five years of imprisonment. The crime, however, could lead to longer sentences, especially if the people involved lured a minor into the activity. China’s age of consent is 14.
Chinese courts reportedly considered deporting Wu at the time when he was formally charged.
Born in Guangzhou, China, Wu rose to fame as part of the K-pop group EXO. The Canadian national left the group in 2014 and started a solo career in China. Several brands, including L’Oréal, Porsche and Vattie, immediately severed their ties with Wu due to the scandal.
China’s National Radio and Television Administration (NRTA) hosted a two-day “ethical training session” following Wu’s detainment in July 2020. The “Training Class for Promoting the Production of High-Quality TV Series” was attended by 64 Chinese celebrities and talents, including “The First Half of My Life” actor Lei Jiayin and former child star Zhang Yishan.