Zhao Zhiyong sentenced to death for sexually assaulting schoolgirls
A powerful and influential Chinese businessman has been executed in China after being convicted for raping 25 children.
49-year-old Zhao Zhiyong was found guilty of sexually assaulting underage schoolgirls of 32 separate occasions over a period of one and a half years, according to court documents.
He was executed on Tuesday after being sentenced to death for his crimes last October, according to the Kaifeng Intermediate People’s Court in central China’s Henan Province.
Aside from being a wealthy large factory owner, Zhao was also a representative of the Kaifeng People’s Congress, making him one of the most prominent elites in the region.
Zhao had also colluded with a female accomplice, named Li Na, who was responsible for scouting for young victims, the court said in an online statement.
Li delivered underage girls to hotels or Zhao’s home, between May 2015 and January 2017, for him to have sexual intercourse with by force.
Li reportedly used beatings, intimidation, “filming threats,” and “other means” to coerce the schoolchildren.
Although details of the victims were not made public, the court revealed that, of the 25 children abused by Zhao, 14 of which were under the age of 14-year-old.
According to the Daily Mail, the court said it carried out the execution after receiving an order from the Supreme Court.
Zhao was said to be an influential businessman in Kaifeng.
He owned a large flour factory and was the deputy head of the Kaifeng Chamber of Commerce, according to Chinese news outlet The Paper, citing a court notice.
He was also listed as the vice chairman of the Weishi County Federation of Industry and Commerce and a local government representative.
The notice also claimed that Zhao, 49, had sent Li to look for “young female pupils” from middle schools in the county of Weishi so that he could have sex with them.
Li, together with eight accomplices, forced the victims to sleep with Zhao by beating them, intimidating them and taking pictures of their privates as threats.
The notice added that Zhao had raped 25 middle school students on 32 occasions, including 14 girls who were not yet 14 years old.
Zhao’s accomplice Li was sentenced to death with a two-year reprieve.
The court stated that there were “other criminals who raped, organized, forced prostitution and assisted in organizing prostitution,” but didn’t reveal details of these cases.