Caixin
SOCIETY & CULTURE

Eleven Villagers Seek Exoneration in Decade-Old Rape Case

Four of the 11 people convicted of raping Tang Lanlan and forcing her into prostitution were in Beijing in January to petition over their claimed innocence. From left to right: Her uncle Tang Jibin, her mother Wan Xiuling, her aunt Tang Yumei and Liu Wanyou, former head of their village. Photo: Cai Yingli/Caixin
Four of the 11 people convicted of raping Tang Lanlan and forcing her into prostitution were in Beijing in January to petition over their claimed innocence. From left to right: Her uncle Tang Jibin, her mother Wan Xiuling, her aunt Tang Yumei and Liu Wanyou, former head of their village. Photo: Cai Yingli/Caixin

A dozen police cars swooped in on a remote village in the northeastern province of Heilongjiang on Oct. 28, 2008, turning the sleepy community upside down.

Officers took away 16 villagers who were linked to the alleged repeated rape — in some cases, gang rape — of Tang Lanlan, who was 14 at the time of the raid.

Eleven of the villagers, including Tang’s parents, were charged and later handed sentences ranging from five years to life in prison in 2010 on charges of raping the girl since she was 6 and forcing her into prostitution.

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