Chinese man sentenced to 24 years for brutal gang attack on women

Chinese man sentenced to 24 years for brutal gang attack on women

TAIPEI, Taiwan (AP) — A court in northern China sentenced a man to 24 years in prison Friday for his role in a brutal attack on four women, as well as other crimes including robbery and opening a illegal gambling.

The Guangyang District People’s Court in the northern province of Hebei announced in a statement that the man, Chen Jizhi, was the head of a criminal gang and had carried out criminal activities for years.

The court also convicted 27 others. The charges against him include opening casinos, robbery, assisting in cybercrime activities, picking fights and causing trouble, and sentences range from 6 months to 11 years.

Authorities had launched the investigation of Chen after a video surfaced in early June in which he and other men began beating four women at a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan, a city in Hebei. The men spared no force, using glass bottles and their fists to attack the women and even throwing a chair.

Chen had started the assault on a woman after she rebuffed his advances and brushed his hand away. He then put her hands on her and dragged her out of her chair. His crew members quickly joined him as the woman’s friends tried to stop his attack. The incident was caught on video from surveillance cameras in the restaurant.

The graphic videos sparked public anger and despair, as many women expressed concern for their personal safety.

She also recalled the public feeling of despair over violence against women that went unpunished, such as a case earlier this year in which a video circulated of a woman chained to the wall in a house in the countryside. Authorities later determined in an investigation that the woman had been trafficked. and sold as a bride.

Police initially arrested nine people., seven men and two women, for assaulting the four women. Two of the women had to be hospitalized for their injuries.

The investigation into public assault has evolved into a broader investigation into criminal activity and corruption. Prosecutors later said they were charging 27 other people for crimes uncovered during the investigation.

In August, Communist Party authorities at the Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said they were investigating 15 officials for corruption involving “evil organizations,” including those associated with the attackers.

The 15, including the director of the Tangshan Public Security Bureau and officers from various police stations, are suspected of abuse of power, bribery and other work-related crimes. Eight of them have been arrested during the investigation.

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