A Chinese man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for his leading role in a brutal attack on female diners in the city of Tangshan, in a case that shocked the country and sparked widespread anger over violence against women.
Chen Jizhi, along with four other defendants, was found guilty of violently assaulting four women with chairs, bottles, punching and kicking at a barbecue restaurant in June after one of the women rejected a sexual advance against Chen, a local court in Hebei. the province said Friday.
A fifth defendant was found guilty of threatening one of the victims to call the police.
The court ruled that Chen was the leader of a criminal gang that had committed a series of crimes over the past decade. He was convicted of, among other things, picking up fights and causing trouble, robbery, opening casinos, illegal detention of others, intentional injury and a fine of 320,000 yuan.Read:Israeli envoy to UN blasts Abbas’s ‘bizarre, lie-laden speech’
The court also sentenced 27 other defendants to prison terms ranging from six months to 11 years for their involvement in the crimes.
Two of the women suffered “minor second-degree injuries,” according to the court, while the other two suffered “minor injuries.”
The attack caught the public eye after harrowing surveillance footage surfaced online in early June. The video shows Chen approaching the female diners and placing his hand on the back of one of the females. The woman pushes him away, then Chen hits her and pushes her to the ground.
The other men then join the attack, dragging a woman out by her hair, hitting her with bottles and chairs, and repeatedly kicking her in the head. A woman who tries to help her is pushed away and lands heavily on the back of her head on the stairs.
The graphic video sparked a wave of outrage and horror and sparked a debate about violence against women and gender inequality in China.Read:Putin’s Desperate Ukraine Escalation – WSJ
But instead of tackling gender-based violence, Chinese authorities and state media turned their attention to local gang violence, with Tangshan launching a two-week campaign to tackle organized crime.Read:Vladimir Putin grants full Russian citizenship to Edward Snowden
Late last month, authorities said they had charged 28 people for the attack. Meanwhile, Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said it was investigating 15 officials for suspected corruption involving “evil organizations”.
Among them, eight police officers and officers were detained for providing “protection” to the criminal gang.