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Appeals Judge Tells Li Tianyi He Doesn’t Care Whose Son He is

Li Tianyi holding a microphone for Sina Entertainment.

Li Tianyi holding a microphone for Sina Entertainment.

From NetEase & Sina:

Judge Educates Li Tianyi: Sentencing You to 10 Years in Prison Has Nothing to Do With Whose Son You Are

2013 November 27, Beijing First Intermediate People’s Court made its ruling in the appeal of the five-person rape case involving Li XX, rejecting the appeal and affirming the original sentence. This means Li XX is facing a 10 year prison term.

The reactions of the various defendants after the ruling differed. On the afternoon of November 27th, the defense lawyer of Young Wei, one of the defendants, said to this 21st Century Business Herald reporter that Young Wei and the his family are “extremely satisfied” with the ruling”, and that “this was within their expectations.”

As for whether or not Li XX’s side will appeal the second ruling that has been handed down? Li XX’s primary lawyer in the second trial Zhang Qihuai confirmed the position of appealing during an interview with this 21st Century Business Herald reporter on the night of November 27th. “As long as it is permitted by legal procedures, we will definitely continue [appealing].”

Zhang Qihuai sighed, the judgement of the second trial “was within our expectation for ruling, but outside of our expectations for term. By judging him guilty and sentencing him to 10 years, his individual sentence term is the sum of those for the three other minors and 2.5x that of Elder Wei, who is the same age as him. This sentencing is definitely mistaken.”

Li Tianyi's defense lawyer Zhang Qihuai.
Li Tianyi’s defense lawyer Zhang Qihuai.

Xinhua News reports that the court explained that Li XX was the instigator of the group crime and the primary perpetrator of violence, so his position and role is clearly greater than the other defendants, and he expressed no remorse. In view of him being a minor and student at the time of the crime, he was leniently punished in accordance with the law, and sentenced to a limited term of of imprisonment of 10 years.

November 19th, the second court hearing lasted 13 hours. An attorney for the defense claimed to this 21st Century Business Herald reporter that during the second trial, Li XX and Wang X and their new lawyers both believed that this was a case of prostitution and not rape, and therefore maintained a defense pleading innocence; whereas the defense lawyers for the other 3 defendants maintained a defense pleading leniency. “The defense strategies of the second trial were divided along the same lines as the first,” a defense lawyer who participated in the second trial told this paper’s reporter.

[…]

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The court on the other hand says that during the trial, Li XX defended himself by saying that “he fell asleep not long after entering the room, and did not have any sexual relations with the victim.” In response, the court expressed that although was no semen belonging to Li XX detected on the victim’s underwear, the combination of the other defendants’ testimony and the victim’s statements and evidence clearly and resolutely prove the fact that Li XX was the first to have sexual relations with the victim.

Insiders familiar with the case disclosed that Li XX has continuously maintained that this case is just one of prostitution, not rape, and that he did not participate. During the second trial, Li XX claims the moment he entered the room where the incident occurred, he received a phone call from his mother Meng Ge, whereby he exited the room to answer, and “saw nothing nor participated in anything” upon returning”; whereas in the first trial, he had claimed that he was drunk and had fallen asleep. Zhang Qihuai explain that the call records clearly indicate that Li XX had answered three phone calls from his mother that night, and “every phone call lasted several minutes”, that he had exited “at least three times”, that this happened at different times with his claim of being “drunk” during the first trial, and therefore “there is no conflict nor ‘change in testimony'”

[…]

Previously the media reported that just before the second trial ended, Li XX had read aloud a self-written, 10-minute long “final statement”, and bowed 3 times. He said, “Is it just because I am Li Shuangjiang’s son? If I admitted to doing something I didn’t do just to reduce my sentence a few years, I would wrong my parents, and wrong my family’s reputation. Is admitting to doing something I didn’t do called having the proper attitude?”

Li Shuangjiang and Meng Ge on tv show in military uniforms.
Li Tianyi’s parents, Li Shuangjiang and Meng Ge.

One person who was present at the time recalls that Li XX’s expression was calm at the time. That person said to this reporter that during the court education/admonishment stage after the pronouncement of the sentence on November 27th, the judge went out of his way to say to Li XX who was present to hear the sentence: The passing of this kind of sentence has nothing to do with whose son you are.

However, from Zhang Qihuai’s perspective, in terms of legal proceedings, there is still a possibility for “reversing the verdict” through appeal. If this is a “war”, “the ‘war’ has just begun, and we have only slightly restored the truth, merely opening the hole [in the prosecution’s case] a bit. We are still waiting for the ultimate result.”

Comments from NetEase:

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网易安徽省合肥市网友 ip:117.64.*.*:

A sentence of 10 years really has nothing to do with whose son you are. If your father hadn’t personally come out to take care of the matter when you had assaulted someone, who knows, you may have been in reeducation through labor for 2 years and what you’re facing today wouldn’t have happened at all. If your mother had severely taught you a lesson, made you confess guilt, proactively compensated the victim, and got the victim’s forgiveness, who knows, maybe you would’ve only been sentenced to 5 years max!

国安永远吹牛b [网易美国手机网友]:

Guess his father’s military rank isn’t high enough.

胡思不乱写 [网易广东省佛山市网友]:

Proper/Positive Education: When being interviewed by Xinhua News, Li Shuangjiang also once expressed: “Under our influence, our child cannot possibly learn wrong, because we everything we give him is proper/positive…”

0210927 [网易美国网友]:

Tianyi has helped them [take the brunt of public attention] for half a year, so who should take his place next? The Diaoyu Islands?

网易内蒙古锡林郭勒盟网友 ip:58.18.*.*:

Before the verdict was handed down in the first trial, the mainstream opinion on YellowEase [disparaging, pun-like nickname for NetEase] would’ve liked nothing better than sentencing him to death. After the first trial, a portion of the people leaned towards the sentence being too harsh, but there were still a large majority of people who continued to hurl abuse. Now that there is finally a conclusion, I wonder what direction the commentary will lean towards… When I commented, there were 16 replies, and honestly, of these 16 replies, what people are paying attention to/focusing on is no longer on the aspects of “lawful”, “minor”, “gang rape”, “morality”, etc. etc. etc. etc., but this one thing. In one post, you can tell that so-called netizens, so-called public opinion, is truly something that is unreliable…
But coming full circle, I spend most of my time using my mobile phone to relax rather than seriously read the news, and with regards to this matter, my personal opinion is that he should just be shot/executed. First, China has no lack for people. Second, China has no lack for lousy people. And then there is that saying that a person who is able to do this before they are even an adult, what will they be like in the future when they have money and power and want something to excite them…? After all, a person’s threshold for excitement will become higher and higher…
Another thing, I just finished drinking all night, just came out of the sauna, and after the sauna lady feigned ignorance for a long time, she finally agreed to wank me off, and I’m very thankful to her…

Comments from Sina:

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信天游1207[河北衡水]

When the incident happened, if the Li family had proactively admitted fault to the victim, proactively compensated, and begged the victim for forgiveness, it wouldn’t be like this. If the Li family didn’t rely on force to bully others like this, didn’t spoil an unfilial son like this, proactively admitted guilt, assumed responsibility, took just 1/10th of the money they used to employ lawyers to placate the victim, the masses/public wouldn’t be so infuriated.
Through Li X’s statement, not only doesn’t he admit guilt and submit to the law, he insists on not repenting, and what more, traces of the Li family’s collusion can clearly be seen.

手机用户[河北邯郸]

One minute saying he had gone to sleep, the next minute saying he was answering a phone call, how can he be this dishonest. On this attitude/bearing alone, affirming the original sentence is completely appropriate.

青青河边云425608488[浙江绍兴]

If Meng Ge [Li Tianyi’s mother] and her legion didn’t attack, start rumors, smear, and slander the victim and thus arouse public anger, his fate wouldn’t be this wretched.

青青河边云425608488[浙江绍兴]

When they arrived at the Hubei Building, it was around 4am, and it was still dark at that time. Just what kind of emergency did Meng Ge have at that time to call so early? Just like saying he had played with his mobile phone and then went to sleep in the first trial, Li X was clearly lying again in the second trial.

髦吉吉[湖南长沙]

Li XX: The judgement has nothing to do with whose son you are, but the judgement coming 1 year late has something to do with whose son you are!

Written by Fauna

Fauna is a mysterious young Shanghainese girl who lives in the only place a Shanghainese person would ever want to live: Shanghai. In mid-2008, she started chinaSMACK to combine her hobby of browsing Chinese internet forums with her goal of improving her English. Through her tireless translation of popular Chinese internet news and phenomenon, her English has apparently gotten dramatically better. At least, reading and writing-wise. Unfortunately, she's still not confident enough to have written this bio, about herself, by herself.

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