Court to identify child sex offenders

Updated 2017-12-08 11:03:02 China Daily

A court in Jiangsu province has become only the second in China to name sex offenders to ensure they are prevented from working with minors.

The identities of four men sentenced to prison last week at Huaiyin District People's Court in Huaian will be released online in a month, according to a joint statement from the court, police, prosecutors and local education commission.

All four were convicted of the rape or sexual assault of a child under 18.

One of the men, surnamed Zhang, was given three years in prison for abusing his neighbor's teenage daughter during the summer. He is a repeat offender and has served time previously for rape, according to the statement.

The convicts' names, ID numbers, photos and ages will be put on the websites and social media accounts of Jiangsu's judicial departments, it said.

The Huaiyin government will make it compulsory for institutions such as schools, kindergartens, children's hospitals and even zoos to access the website to screen job applicants for past sexual offenses.

"We'll issue an oral warning, even administrative punishment, on related institutions if they fail to do the background check and hire someone with past sexual offenses for jobs related to children," said Zheng Bing, deputy head of the district prosecuting authority.

This is the first time a court in Jiangsu has make public the ID information of convicted sex offenders of children, and the second nationwide.

Last year, the city procuratorate, court and police bureau in Cixi, Zhejiang province, jointly issued measures regarding public exposure of ID information of child sex offenders.

"Exposing information of child sex offenders is important in preventing them from committing such crimes again," Song Yinghui, a law professor at Beijing Normal University, told online news media thepaper.cn.

"Similar practices are found in many other countries, such as the United States and South Korea."

In the US, Megan's Law was passed in 1996 requiring states to establish systems for making registry information available to the public through community notification. In doing so, the law made photos, names and addresses of registered sex offenders available to the public via the internet and other forms of community notification.

Ruan Qilin, professor of criminal law at the China University of Political Science and Law, said a career ban for those who commit sexual assault on minors in China was stated in a 2013 judicial guideline issued by the Supreme People's Court, the Supreme People's Procuratorate, and the ministries of public security and justice. But enforcement takes a systemic approach, Ruan said.

Shanghai's Minhang district pioneered this in August when the district procuratorate set up a blacklist with other related government organs, prohibiting the hiring of former sex offenders in places such as schools and other jobs that have close contact with juveniles.

According to data from the Supreme People's Court, courts around the country heard 67,500 sexual harassment and rape cases from January 2014 to September of 2016, and children were the victims in 11 percent of the cases.

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