Public incensed by story of 11-year-old impregnated by rapist in rural China

Society & Culture
Pictured: Magutian, Henan Province
Pictured: Magutian, Henan Province

An 11-year-old girl in the town of Magutian 马谷田 in Henan Province was found pregnant after being raped by a staff member at her school, reports, a news website focusing on news about minors operated by the Central Committee of China Communist Youth League. The assaults reportedly began when she was 9 years old.

The girl’s father is physically disabled and works in the city as a migrant worker. The girl’s mother, who is mentally disabled and under the care of the girl’s elder sister, first discovered the unusual change in her daughter’s figure.

“You come straight home from school every day, how can you be pregnant?” her mother reportedly asked.

“Teacher,” was the only response.

On January 15, a local hospital confirmed the girl was five months pregnant. She has since terminated the pregnancy, as decided by the family.

According to the girl’s brother-in-law, the girl was raped by a man surnamed Liu at her school, Magutian No. 2 Primary School. The first assault occurred two years ago, when the girl was in fourth grade. “Multiple” assaults followed, with Liu pressuring the girl to keep silent.

Liu has been arrested and the case is under investigation by local police.

According to the school’s principal, Liu is not a teacher, but works on the security staff and is responsible for student safety and disciplinary issues. He began working at the school about five or six years ago.

The news sparked tremendous outrage among internet users, with many demanding that the rapist be sentenced to death. “It’s sad enough for this little poor girl to be born into such a family, and the monster just made life harder for her,” one commenter wrote (in Chinese). “She should be offered assistance.”

Sexual abuse of children is common, if not rampant, in China, particularly in the countryside. In 2013, the country was appalled by news of a primary school principal raping six students in a hotel. He was convicted and sentenced to 13 years and 6 months.

In August 2017, a 11-year-old girl in Hubei Province, whose parents had moved to an urban area to work, attempted suicide (in Chinese) after being sexually assaulted by her neighbor on four different occasions.

In September 2017, a man in Guanxi was sentenced to four years in prison (in Chinese) for committing sex crimes against 10 minors in a rural village.

According to a study (in Chinese) conducted by Beijing Normal University in 2013, children of disabled or migrant parents, without proper care, are more likely to fall victims to sexual predators, in particular family relatives or adults at school.