A 13-year-old boy from Dalian, Liaoning province, China did not face criminal charges for raping and brutally killing a 10-year-old girl.
According to the Dalian public security bureau on Thursday night, the boy, identified only by his surname Cai, confessed to the crime, China Daily reported.
The girl was dropped off by her older brother to art class on Oct. 20 at around 1 p.m. and was supposed to go home at 3 p.m. However, her parents realized something was wrong when she didn’t come home.
The girl’s father spoke to Jinyun News and said his daughter was lured into the house of the boy, was sexually assaulted, and then stabbed to death. He later dumped her body on the side of the road. She was found dead the afternoon of the following day near their house.
Even though they live in the same community and the boy goes to the same school as the girl’s brother, the family did “not know each other well.”
Under Chinese Criminal Law, only minors aged between 16 to 18 can be held criminally responsible, while ages 14 and 16 can face trial for their offenses. There is no law for those age 13 and under.
The Dalian’s Public Security Bureau confirmed on Oct. 24 that Cai would be put in rehabilitation for three years instead of jail as he is underage.
Local police argued this was “the harshest punishment within the current legal system for a minor.”
Chinese lawmakers are reportedly discussing the possibility of amending the law and lowering the age of criminal responsibility.
The case sparked massive outrage on China’s Weibo. Many members called out for “severe punishment” for the boy, who some called an “animal.” Others have suggested the death penalty.
Images via Weibo