Earlier today, the People’s Daily reported that five people were detained in connection with a gang rape that happened Sunday in a Beijing hotel.
A source has just informed the South China Morning Post one of those detainees is the 17-year-old son of a famous PLA singer.
A source close to Beijing police told the South China Morning Post on Friday that Li Tianyi, also known as Li Guanfeng, was detained on Thursday night for allegedly participating in the gang rape. The source did not elaborate on the crime or its victim.
…Several major Chinese news portals, including Sina.com and Ifeng.com, have also confirmed Li Tianyi’s detention, citing police sources and family members.
Li’s father is 74-year-old Li Shuangjiang, a singer for the People’s Liberation Army who has a non-commanding rank of Major General.
This is not the younger Li’s first brush with the law. In 2011, at the age of 15, he was sentenced to a year in a youth reformation centre after he and another young friend assaulted a couple near his Beijing home. This incident occurred after a minor collision between their cars. Li was driving a souped-up BMW without a licence because he was too young to drive.
More details as they become available.
UPDATE, 2/23, 11:59 am: Li Tianyi, he of the infamous BMW, was involved in a nasty assault in 2011 in which he shouted at bystanders, “Don’t you dare call police.” Via BBC:
The teenage boy, who is too young to drive legally, was behind the wheel of a BMW car with no licence plates when he found a middle-aged couple in another vehicle blocking his way in Beijing.
Li Tianyi and a second teenager, who was driving an Audi, leapt from their vehicles and, it is reported, assaulted the couple while shouting at shocked bystanders: “Don’t you dare call police”.
Many in China saw it as yet another example of the children of the rich and powerful acting as if they were above the law, our correspondent adds.
Li’s father bailed him out that time, according to Global Times:
Ma Weiguo, a Beijing lawyer, told the Global Times Monday that even though Li Tianyi cannot be punished due to his age, his parents should bear responsibility for his actions.
“According to China’s Tort Liability Law, Li Shuangjiang has to compensate the injured with medical fees and possible income,” Ma said.
We’ll see if Li Shuangjiang has any sway left. Can Li Tianyi be punished due to his age this time?
UPDATE, 3/13: The latest report, via SCMP, is that Li Tianyi has lied about his age — that he’s actually 19 and should be tried as an adult.