On June 16, a court concluded that Deng Yujiao, victim of the widely publicized rape case, was guilty of assault. The court then released her without sentence on the grounds of a claimed “mental disorder.” While some celebrate Deng’s release, many challenge the legitimacy of the court’s decision.
Chinese professor He Weifang wrote in a web article that the real criminal in this case had not been brought to court as a defendant. He argued that Deng’s stabbing the officials was not an independent incident, but a defensive action following an attempted rape. ”The court should have first investigated the sexual assault before placing any charges on Deng,” said He.
“As a matter of fact, the court should first investigate the rape suspect, Huang Dezhi,” He said in the article. “If Deng stabbed the officials while resisting rape, then the court should be handling a rape case. But now the court is judging Deng’s behavior without mentioning the attempted rape.”
As for the mental disorder claim, He said it was a cunning excuse for blaming Deng without having to punish her, and for letting the rape suspects walk free.
The volunteer legal support group for Deng stated on June 17 that the verdict of guilty was not acceptable. “We believe that Deng is not guilty as her actions were made in self-defense,” the group said in a statement to the press. “The guilty charge is by no means legitimate.” The group also proposed to make May 10, the day Deng stabbed the officials, Self-Defense Day, and to use this day as an occasion to educate the public about self-defense and other legitimate ways to defend their own legal rights.