A real estate billionaire in China was sentenced to only five years in prison for molesting a 9-year-old girl in his hotel room.
The details: Chinese tycoon Wang Zhenhua was arrested and detained a year ago for the sexual assault that resulted in the girl suffering from vaginal lacerations.
- The crime happened inside a five-star hotel room in Shanghai on June 29, 2019, reports the New York Times.
- Zhou Yanfen, a supposed friend of the survivor’s mother, brought the young girl and her older sister to Wang’s hotel room.
- Zhou had promised the girls’ mom that she was bringing the girls to Shanghai Disneyland.
- It was later revealed that Wang paid Zhou 10,000 yuan (about $1,400) to bring the children to him.
- The mother learned what happened after her daughter came back and told her about the abuse.
- She immediately called the police and both Wang and Zhou were arrested.
- Upon his arrest, Zhenhua was removed from his post as chairman of Seazen Holdings, one of the biggest real estate developers in China.
- Zhenhua, who remains as the company’s majority shareholder, was replaced with his son.
- The Zhenhua family wealth is estimated to be around $6 billion.
The trial: Wang was tried for “molestation” as the investigation found “no sexual organ contact” and therefore the crime could not be classified as rape.
- The billionaire denied molesting the girl during the two-day closed hearing at a Putuo district court in Shanghai.
- Wang was sentenced to five years in prison, which under Chinese law, is the maximum sentence for molestation.
- Zhou was given a four-year prison sentence for bringing the girls to Wang’s hotel.
- The verdict for the high-profile case sparked outrage on Chinese social media, reports Shanghaiist.
- “Vaginal lacerations are sexual, how could this not be rape?” a Weibo user wrote. “Five years is too light, this crime is truly frightening.”
- “The laws are made for the poor. The rich are above the law,” another user was quoted as saying.