Chinese-Canadian pop star Kris Wu has been tried for alleged rape and other offenses in Beijing, amid turmoil in China over a video showing a group of men physically assaulting four women in the city of Tangshan.
Wu’s closed trial on Friday at the Chaoyang People’s Court was reported late Friday night by Chang’An Net, which belongs to China’s Central Political and Legal Affairs Commission, itself controlled by the ruling Communist Party.
There were criticisms online about the timing of the lawsuit announcement. “More concerned about the Tangshan matter,” said the top comment on Weibo in response to the news. The comment has been liked more than 22,000 times.
The attack on four women dining at a restaurant in Tangshan, a coastal city east of Beijing, early Friday morning was captured in surveillance footage widely shared on Weibo. On Sunday, police arrested nine people on suspicion of violent assault.
The outcry over the case has rekindled the conversation about misogyny and the mistreatment of women in China. Earlier this year, a video surfaced of a woman who had been chained up in a shack. Police investigation revealed that she had been trafficked and sold as a wife.
The trial of Wu, a former member of K-pop group EXO, has been closed to the public to protect the victim’s privacy, state media said.
Wu was tried for rape and “the crime of having gathered a crowd to engage in sexual promiscuity”. It was not clear what allegations the charges related to. Rape is punishable by three to 10 years in prison, although life and death sentences can also be imposed in exceptional cases. The second charge Wu faces carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
The verdict and any sentence were due later, state media said.
Last year, a teenager accused Wu of having sex with her while she was drunk. Wu denied all allegations of wrongdoing. The teenager then said that seven other women had contacted her to say that Wu had seduced them with promises of jobs and other opportunities. She said some were under 18.
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Post expires at 6:29pm on Friday June 24th, 2022