Crowd cheers as sexually assaulted Chinese teen jumps to death
The suicide of a sexually harassed teenager, who jumped to her death from a building in China’s central Gansu province, has triggered an online debate after videos emerged showing onlookers egging her to leap as she sat on a window ledge.Updated: Jun 27, 2018 11:05 IST
Hindustan Times, Beijing
The suicide of a sexually harassed teenager, who jumped to her death from a building in China’s central Gansu province, has triggered an online debate after videos emerged showing onlookers egging her to leap as she sat on a window ledge.
Two people, according to state media, were detained for clapping and cheering as the victim, identified only as 19-year-old Li, sat outside the window of a department store’s eighth floor.
The crowd that gathered below went on shouting for her to jump as personnel from the firefighting department tried to reach her and convince her to come back inside the building.
One video showed Li hanging from a window of the tall building with a firefighter trying to pull her back in. Below, the crowd shouted “jump quickly”.
According to state-run China Daily newspaper, “Li was suffering from severe depression after she was molested by her high school teacher.”
The incident triggered online uproar about the lack of sympathy for the depressed in society, even as the backstory of her being sexually assaulted by the teacher emerged.
The newspaper quoted police as saying that Li had “attempted suicide four times since 2016”. It added, “She first took drugs in October and December 2016 and then attempted to jump off a building last May before being saved by the police. This January she tried again by taking large amounts of anti-depression drugs.”
Li reported to police last February that her teacher, Wu Yonghou, had allegedly sexually assaulted her on the pretext of carrying out a medical check-up.
“Police detained Wu for 10 days last May but Li’s father found the punishment not harsh enough and filed an appeal to the local procuratorate. After hearing the case this March, the procuratorate released Wu without charge,” the newspaper reported.
Li subsequently slipped into depression and attempted suicide.
Her story echoes one that happened two decades ago but became national news recently, when a friend of the victim called for the reopening of the case. In the earlier case, 21-year-old Gao Yan, a student at the prestigious Peking University, committed suicide after allegedly being raped by her professor.
First Published: Jun 27, 2018 09:07 IST