Chinese students on trial in alleged torture of peer
Updated: 2015-06-15 11:16
By Niu Yue in New York(China Daily USA)
A group of Chinese students in Los Angeles are on trial, accused of abducting and torturing a fellow Chinese student, a young woman, according to media reports.
Six defendants: Zhai Yunyao, Zhang Xinlei and Yang Yuhan, all of whom were born in 1996, and three other minors were accused of abducting and torturing the victim on March 30 in the Rowland Heights, an affluent, unincorporated community in Los Angeles County with an almost 60 percent Asian population. Pre-trial motions began on June 12.
Four other alleged accomplices in the case are still at large.
The victim' said she was lured by a primary-school peer to discuss private matters. She was then reportedly forced into a car and taken to Rowland Heights Park, where the peer and the girls began beating her and stripping her clothes off.
The victim, whose name China Daily is withholding, recalled that they burned her nipples with lighted cigarettes and one girl even tried to light her hair on fire but failed because they had splashed cold water on her repeatedly beforehand.
The girls then cut her hair off and forced her to eat the hair. She was then forced to the ground to eat sand. The victim said that during the assault, one of the girls took photos and videos when she was naked and eating sand.
According to the victim's statement, the torture lasted five hours, and the assault left her seriously injured.
She reported the assault to local police, and not long after, the six students were arrested.
According to reports, the motive was a rivalry in a relationship.
Deng Hong, defense attorney, said in an interview that some of the defendants hadn't realized the seriousness of their actions until their first court appearance in April.
The penalties can run up to a life sentence in a California state prison and a fine of up to $10, 000.
Deng aid that the case underlines the students' ignorance of the US law.
Controversy ensued when the father of a defendant allegedly tried to pay off a witness, hoping to "settle" the case. He was later arrested and charged with attempted bribery.
After three days of pre-trial motions, the next session at Superior Court, Los Angeles County East District in Ponoma will be on June 18.
"Those Chinese parents thought they finished their task of raising children by spending money sending their kids to the US. Don't they know that education is a lifelong task?"a netizen on Sina Weibo wrote.
Hong Xiao in New York contributed to this story.