A man who was the ringleader of a vicious attack on a group of women who were eating in a restaurant China has been handed a stiff prison sentence by a Chinese court, the BBC reports.
Chen Jizhi was found guilty of the assault which took place in the city of Tangshan back in June. Another 27 men were convicted in relation to the incident, where they beat the women with bottles, chairs, and their fists. Security video of the incident viral across social media platforms, sparking outrage and debate over violence against women in the country.
Two women went to intensive care as a result of the attack. In addition to his sentence, Jizhi was fined 320,000 yuan, which is equivalent to $45,000. The other defendants were given prison sentences ranging between six months and 11 years.
From the BBC:
A report released soon after the assault found the handling of the case by the local deputy director of district police and other officers had been “slow and improper”.
Chinese authorities censored online debate about attacks on women, and tried to paint the assault as gang crime, correspondents say.
The viciousness of the attack sparked outrage and heated debate on social media, taking up one of the most-discussed topics on Weibo, a popular social media platform in China.
According to the Global Times (an outlet which is controlled by the Chinese government), the attack took place after one of the women rejected his “inappropriate advances.” One of the defendants reportedly threatened the victims, warning them not to contact police.
Chen and the other defendants reportedly have criminal histories, including “illegal detention, affray, intentional injury, opening of casinos, robbery, concealing the proceeds of crime and assisting in the criminal activities of information networks by using violence, threats and other means in Tangshan and other regions throughout the country,” the Global Times reports.
Watch video of the incident below (graphic):