A Chinese man has been sentenced to 24 years in prison for his role in the crime. Brutal attack on women eaters in the city of Tangshan, in a case that shocked the country and sparked widespread outrage over violence against women.
Chen Jizhi, along with four other defendants, was found guilty of violently attacking four women with chairs, bottles, punches and kicks at a barbecue restaurant in June, after one of the women, a local court in Hebei, pleaded guilty on behalf of Chen. Sexual advances were rejected. The province said on Friday.
A fifth defendant was found guilty of threatening one of the victims against calling the police.
The court ruled that Chen was the ringleader of a criminal gang that had committed several crimes over the past decade. He was convicted on charges including affray and inciting trouble, robbery, opening a gambling den, illegally detaining others, willful injury and fined 320,000 yuan.
The court also sentenced 27 other defendants to imprisonment ranging from six months to 11 years for their involvement in the crimes.
According to the court, two of the women suffered “minor injuries of the second degree”, while the other two suffered “minor injuries”.
The attack drew public attention after horrifying surveillance footage surfaced online in early June. In the video, Chen can be seen approaching a female diner and placing his hand on the back of one of the women. The woman pushes her away, then Chen slaps her and pushes her to the ground.
Other men then join the attack, dragging one woman by her hair, hitting her with bottles and chairs and repeatedly kicking her in the head. A woman who tries to help him is pushed away and lands heavily on the back of her head on the stairs.
The graphic video sparked a wave of outrage and fear, reigniting the debate about violence against women and gender inequality in China.
But instead of focusing on gender-based violence, Chinese officials and state media focused on local gang violence, with Tangshan launching a two-week campaign to crack down on organized crime.
Late last month, officials said they had Charged 28 people on attack. Meanwhile, the Hebei Provincial Commission for Discipline Inspection said it was investigating 15 officials for suspected corruption involving “evil organizations”.
Eight of these policemen and officers were detained for providing “protection” to the criminal gang.