BEIJING – A Chinese court sentenced the teenage son of a general to 10 years in jail for rape Thursday, authorities said, after his trial spotlighted extravagant lifestyles among China’s elite.
Li Tianyi, 17, and four other male suspects were found guilty of gang-raping a woman in a Beijing hotel in February, court authorities said on a verified social media account. The case drew widespread scrutiny in China, where the children of the elite are often seen as living lavishly or above the law due to their connections.
Li’s father, Li Shuangjiang, holds a rank equivalent to general in China’s military as dean of the music department for the army’s Academy of Arts and is known for singing patriotic songs. His mother, Meng Ge, is also a prominent singer.
A court spokesman rejected online chatter that Li’s family background had led to a lighter sentence. But some on Sina Weibo decried the ruling. “How much do other gang rapists get? In 10 years, he will be released and will be considered a great boy,” said one post.
It was not immediately clear if Li would appeal the charge.