Sept. 26 - A Chinese court jails the son of two celebrity army singers to 10 years for his part in a gang rape. Rough cut (no reporter narration)
ROUGH CUT - NO REPORTER NARRATION A Chinese court jailed the teenage son of two celebrity army singers for ten years on Thursday (September 26) for his part in the gang rape of a woman in a case that has fanned resentment against the offspring of the political elite, widely seen as above the law. Li Tianyi, 17, was found guilty of sexually assaulting the woman in a hotel in February. He was one of five accused. The verdict comes as a strict warning to the sons and daughters of China's top-ranked Communist Party officials, who many Chinese say can dodge punishment because of family influence. Li has become the most prominent target of these complaints. Li's father is Li Shuangjiang of the People's Liberation Army (PLA), a singer known for performing patriotic songs on television shows, who enjoys the same treatment as a lieutenant-general, according to a PLA newspaper. Li's mother, Meng Ge, who appeared at the court on Thursday, is also a famous singer in the PLA. Some in the gathered crowd shouted abuse at her. Several petitioners also came to the court to protest their personal grievances to media who had come to cover the trial, but were dragged away by police and plain-clothed security officials. After the verdict as announced, Li's lawyer Chen Shu told reporters that Li would appeal. The case captivated China for months and has drawn fresh scrutiny to political aristocrats -- called the "second-generation rich" or "second generation of officials" -- who are widely viewed as corrupt. The case followed a 2011 incident in which Li drove a BMW into another car in Beijing, beat up the couple inside the vehicle and then scoffed at bystanders about calling the police. He was sentenced to a year in a juvenile correctional facility and his father made a public apology.