Chinese Teachers Sentenced to Death for Child Prostitution

December 25, 2007 Updated: December 25, 2007

Primary school teacher Zhao Qingmei from Guizhou Province of China was sentenced to death for forcing school girls into prostitution. Her husband Chi Yao was also sentenced to death penalty with a two-year reprieve, the official Xinhua News Agency said on December 19.

According to Xinhua, the two former teachers, Zhao Qingmei at a primary school of Xinfa Town, Guizhou's Weining County, and her husband Chi Yao at a nearby high school, forced more than 20 young girls, including some of their own pupils, into prostitution in the area of Guizhou. Chi Yao also raped a girl during this period of time with the help of Zhao Qingmei.

Some of the girls were under the age of 14, so they might have lost the ability to have children in the future. They sold out the young girls to men seeking virgins for sex ranging from 3,000 to 5,000 yuan (US$409 – $682); which is equivalent to approximately three to five months of income for an average local family.

The victims were threatened with the promise that their whole family would be killed if they told anyone about the prostitution. There is also the concern and regard for a girl's reputation, and so many parents have chosen to remain silent.

Another teacher couple, Hai Long and his wife Li Huiyan, received prison sentences of 11 and 13 years, with deprivation of political rights for three additional years and a fine of 10,000 yuan ($1,364) and 40,000 yuan ($5,457).