A Chinese cabbie who kidnapped a schoolgirl and kept her as a sex slave in his hidden dungeon for nearly a month has been sentenced to death.
Long Xihe, who is reportedly in his 50s, was sentenced to death by the Xiangxi Intermediate People’s Court in China’s central province of Hunan.
The verdict handed out during Long’s first trial on 19th March also detailed how the suspect, an unlicensed cabbie, had “long harboured thoughts about kidnapping women”, and how he decided to imprison his 16-year-old victim just moments after she climbed into his taxi.
Long beat the schoolgirl, bound her hands with shoelaces, taped her mouth shut and put a nylon sack over her head before driving her back to his home in Fenghuang County, the court heard.
Between 13th February and 9th March 2019, the teenager was chained to the walls of Long’s damp and dingy dungeon, and was “repeatedly” raped while being threatened with a gun and an electroshock weapon, judges were told.
Images released by her rescuers showed metal chains wrapped around her neck as she was finally freed after 25 days in the specially built dungeon, which was hidden behind a trap door underneath Long’s bed.
Prosecutors’ findings claimed Long had been “perverted by pornography” and premeditated his crime by purchasing online items such as the metal loops, chains, a stun truncheon, masks and women’s wigs.
Long’s motives were “cruel and vile”, and his actions had a profoundly negative impact on society, the court said.
He was found guilty of rape and given a death sentence, while also receiving two years for unlawful possession of a Type 54 pistol.
Included in the ruling is 80,729.7 RMB (9,795 GBP) in damages to be paid out to the victim, whose details as a minor have not been made public.
It was not immediately clear whether Long planned to appeal the verdict.
His case will now be handed to the province’s high court.
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