- Some suspects initially escaped charges until girl’s father prompted public outcry by complaining that they were using their connections to stay out of trouble
- Girl was tricked into working at club and forced to hand over her earnings, according to his social media posts
Six men have been arrested in central China in connection with the rape of an 11-year-old girl who was forced into prostitution at a karaoke bar.
The girl went missing from her home in Qidong county in Hunan province on September 29. A statement issued by the county government on Tuesday said she had been made to work at a karaoke bar and raped multiple times.
Her family called police four days after she went missing and the girl was found in a hotel another three days later, it said.
In October police detained seven people in connection with the case, but only two were initially charged until the girl's father complained online that her alleged rapists had been using their connections to escape charges.
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The father's social media post sparked a public outcry and four more men have now been charged. The suspects include the bar owner, a man accused of introducing her to customers and four alleged patrons of the bar. They include one man who worked for the Qidong county government and an employee of a government-owned bank.
The seventh person questioned, a pregnant woman accused of facilitating prostitution, has been released on bail.
The girl, who had been living with her grandparents while her parents worked in another city, was "tricked into working" at the karaoke club by a schoolmate, her father said.
She was threatened and forced to entertain male customers at the club, including singing and drinking with them, but all the money went into the pockets of the owner and middlemen, he claimed.
The girl is now receiving therapy at a hospital in the provincial capital Changsha, he added.
Under Chinese law, all sex cases involving under-14s are treated as rape.
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