Beijing: A former county official`s sentence was enhanced to eight years in prison, three years more than the sentence awarded to him previously, for the rape of a four-year-old girl.
The People`s Court in Daguan County in China`s Yunnan province Friday announced three days after an in camera retrial, the extended prison term for Guo Yuchi, a former official of Daguan, reports Xinhua.
Guo got five years at a trial in September but his "lenient" sentence caused public outcry. A court said Guo deserved a harsher penalty because he was a public servant. The original sentence was "inappropriate," it said.
The criminal law stipulates between three and ten years for rape. If the victim is under 14 years of age, the offender should be given a harsher sentence within the range.
But the offender could face a jail term of more than ten years, life imprisonment or death penalty if he takes part in a gang rape, rapes multiple victims or causes serious injuries or death of the victim, said Hong Daode, a professor with China University of Political Science and Law.
The court said the new sentence took into consideration that Guo candidly confessed during police interrogation and compensated the victim`s family. The original verdict rejected compensation for the girl`s family but Guo later agreed to pay the family 150,000 yuan ($24,660) in compensation.
The victim`s mother said the new sentence is "lighter" than what she expected but the family has not decided whether to appeal.
The Supreme People`s Court, the Supreme People`s Procuratorate, the Ministry of Public Security and the Ministry of Justice jointly announced Oct 24 a guideline on tougher penalties for public servants involved in sexual offences against minors, after a spate of cases of child abuse by government employees and teachers.