Man sentenced to 24 years in prison for brutal attack on women

Man sentenced to 24 years in prison for brutal attack on women

A court in northern China has sentenced a man to 24 years in jail for his role in a vicious attack on four women at a restaurant, as well as other crimes including robbery and opening an illegal gambling ring.

The following story contains descriptions and imagery of graphic nature.

The Guangyang District People's Court in northern Hebei province announced in a statement that the man, Chen Jizhi, was a ringleader of a criminal gang and had been involved in criminal activities for years.

The court also sentenced 27 others. They were charged with opening casinos, robbery, assisting in cybercrime activities, picking quarrels and provoking trouble, and their sentences ranged from 6 months to 11 years.

The authorities had started an investigation into Chen after a video came to light in early June in which he and some other men started beating four women at a barbecue restaurant in Tangshan, a city in Hebei.

The men spared no force, using glass bottles and their fists to attack the women and even throw a chair.

Chen had started the assault on a woman after she rejected his advances and pushed away his hand. He then put his hands on her and dragged her out of her chair.

He was joined quickly by members of his crew as the woman's friends tried to stop his attack. The incident was caught on video from surveillance cameras in the restaurant.

A case earlier in the year, where a woman was tied to the wall in a country side home, reminded the public sense of despair over violence against women that went unpunished.

Authorities found in an investigation that the woman had been trafficked and sold as a bride.

Initially, police arrested nine people — seven men and two women — for the attack on the four women. Two of the women had to be hospitalised for their injuries.

The investigation over the public assault has evolved into a larger investigation of criminal activities and corruption.

Prosecutors later said they were charging 27 other people for crimes uncovered during the investigation.

In August, the Communist Party authorities from the Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said they were investigating 15 officials for corruption that were involved with the attackers, including those associated with the attackers.

The head of Tangshan's public security bureau, along with officers from several police stations, are accused of abuse of power, bribery and other job-related crimes.

Almost eight of them have been arrested during the investigation.