YUNNAN, China - Authorities in Yunxian county, Yunnan province, confirmed that they are investigating sexual assaults against at least three high school girls. The confirmation comes days after allegations surfaced in the media that a dozen or more girls had been forced into prostitution.
The county's news office released a statement on Thursday saying the police had detained two suspects. The statement confirmed that at least three junior high school girls had been sexually assaulted.
Yunnan Satellite Television reported that a number of female students at Minzu Middle School in Yunxian had been forced into prostitution, allegedly by a local woman surnamed Xu.
Most of the girls were in the eighth or ninth grade, and some were drugged and raped in private cubicles at a karaoke business, the report said.
Chen Hexin, the school's principal, said the school has confirmed that more than a dozen girls had been assaulted.
Chen said the assaults were first exposed when two girls went missing on Nov 2, according to thepaper.cn.
After the girls were found, they told their teacher that they had been taken to a restaurant and then into a karaoke cubicle before being raped.
Chen would not confirm that the girls had been forced into prostitution.
The report quoted the mother of one girl as saying that Xu, who was said to be the procurer, would pay several girls at the school before inducing others to go to karaoke venues.
She would then get the girls drunk before offering them to her clients for sex.
An officer who answered the phone on Thursday at the Yunxian public security bureau said the police would not comment on the details of the case. The police also removed a micro blog post on Thursday afternoon that briefed the public about the case.