Ten people between 40 and 70 years old have been found guilty of sexually abusing an 11-year-old girl in the southern Chinese region of Guangxi.
A local court heard that one of the abusers, a 60-year-old man, had sex with the primary school girl 15 times.
Local media reported that the case highlights the plight of China’s “left-behind” children, whose parents are not with them because they are working in more economically-developed parts of the country.
The victim, who was living with her grandparents when the offences occurred, is part of that group.
The court found all 10 men guilty of having sexually abused the victim multiple times over the past two years, local daily Xiaoxiang Morning Herald reported on Wednesday.
The defendants and their family members asked for leniency, saying that the girl had accepted money from the men.
The judge found nine of the defendants guilty of rape and one of child molestation.
Those found guilty of rape were jailed for between seven and 11 years, while the one found guilty of molest was sent to prison for 2½ years, Hong Kong daily South China Morning Post reported.
Under Chinese law, adults found having sexual intercourse with children under the age of 14 would be charged with rape.
The Sixth National Census in 2010 said that there were more than 60 million “left-behind” youngsters in China and most of them live in inland provinces with backward economies.
A government report on child sex abuse published in September concluded that the children of immigrant workers accounted for the majority of sexual abuse victims, regardless of whether they had been left behind in rural homes or were living with their parents in cities.
In the Baoan district of Shenzhen, the victims in migrant families accounted for 88 per cent of child sexual abuse cases, the report said.
In Huazhou city, also in Guangdong province, 94 per cent of victims were “left-behind” children.
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