09/26/2013, 00.00
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Son of a Communist general sentenced to ten years in Beijing for rape

Li Tianyi is the son of PLA singers Shuangjiang Li and Meng Ge. The three are well-known to the general public because they have performed for years. The 17-year-old has already spent one year in reform school for assault.

Beijing (AsiaNews/Agencies) - A Beijing court sentenced Li Tianyi to ten years in prison for raping a girl along with four friends in Haidian District. He is the son of General Li Shuangjiang, a famous singer with the People's Liberation Army (PLA).

The accused, who is now 17, has already spent a year in reform school for attacking a couple in a car that was blocking his BMW sport. At the time, he was 15 and was driving without a license.

His conviction is one of the first of its kind against a 'princeling', one of the children of the Communist Party elite.

Under Xi Jinping, China's new leadership has repeatedly indicated that it would not make any exception for the children of high ranking officials. However, the so-called "princelings" continue to cause scandal in the country because of their lavish lifestyle and contempt for the law.

The defence tried to avoid the conviction by arguing that the woman involved, whose name was withheld, was a prostitute.

The other four defendants were sentenced to terms ranging from 3 to 12 years. They were also ordered to compensate the victim 150,000 yuan (about US$ 25,000) each.

Li's mother Meng Ge, also a well-known PLA singer, still insists her son is innocent despite the conviction.

The family trio is well known to the Chinese public since they have performed in military displays for a lifetime (pictured).


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