Mei Mei, a prosecutor from Southwest China's Chongqing, talks with students at Chongqing No 37 Secondary School during a class interval last month. (Photo/XINHUA)
Sexual assault, including rape, child molestation, most prominent in charges
The number of crimes against minors prosecuted has increased by an annual average of 3.6 percent in the past five years, with rape, molestation and other types of sexual assault becoming the most prominent, according to the Supreme People's Procuratorate.
From 2018 to 2022, about 290,000 people were prosecuted for crimes against minors. Among them, 131,000 were involved in sexual assault, including rape and child molestation, according to the SPP.
Procuratorates, public security organs and courts strictly punish crimes against minors such as killing, injuring, sexually assaulting, trafficking and abusing, and resolutely crack down on those who challenge the bottom line of law and ethics, with no tolerance, Tong Jianming, executive prosecutor-general of SPP, said at a news conference in Beijing on Wednesday.
The procuratorial organs have improved procuratorial policies and clarified the rules for handling cases to respond to emerging problems such as gangsters luring or forcing minors to commit organized crimes, and criminals using the internet to coerce girls to upload their nude photos, he said.
More attention has also been paid to the victims' psychological assistance, about 2,050 "one-stop" case-handling venues have been built to avoid secondary harm to minors caused by repeated inquiries and evidence collection, and judicial assistance has been provided to families suffering difficulties after criminal violations, according to the SPP.
At the same time, procuratorial organs also actively explored the use of public interest litigation to ensure the rights and interests of minors.
In 2022, procuratorial organs handled 9,700 such cases.
In one case released by the SPP, a man surnamed Wang was diagnosed with AIDS in October 2017, but he did not accept HIV antiviral treatment as required. On Aug 25,2020, he raped a 13-year-old girl at her home in Sichuan province after they knew each other for about one week.
Wang was captured one day later, but he didn't tell the police that he was an AIDS patient.
The girl was tested for HIV antibodies three times, and the results were all negative thanks to timely treatment. The local procuratorate also worked with other departments to carry out living assistance and psychological counseling, and helped her to transfer to another school.
In February 2021, Wang was sentenced to 15 years in prison for rape and deprived of political rights for five years.
Na Yanfang, head of the SPP's ninth procuratorial office, said that in 2021 the SPP decided that juvenile procuratorial departments of procuratorial organs at all levels would handle cases involving juveniles in criminal, civil, administrative and public interest litigation.
The juvenile procuratorial departments under the procuratorate have improved the working mechanism for case review and evidence collection, effectively solving the comprehensive protection problems that appeared in cases involving minors, Na said.
The protection of minors is not only an important judicial issue, but also a prominent social problem. Deepening governance and prevention at the source are the most solid and effective protection, she added.