After a more than five-month investigation, China’s top prosecutor concluded Thursday there was “insufficient evidence” that a successful businessman had raped his teenage foster daughter for three years — a case that had shocked the nation earlier this year.
In April, domestic outlet South Reviews reported that Bao Yuming had allegedly raped the girl, surnamed Han — initially identified by the pseudonym Xingxing — for three years since she was 14. Bao was a registered lawyer as well as an independent, non-executive director at Chinese telecom firm ZTE and a researcher at Southwest University of Political Science and Law in Chongqing. Following the accusation, both the company and the school cut ties with Bao.
“Based on the investigations, Bao and Han cohabitated and had a sexual relationship, but the existing evidence could not prove that Bao had acted against Han’s will or used violence, coercion, or other means to make her have sexual relations with him,” read the result of the investigation by the Supreme People’s Procuratorate. “Therefore, Bao’s behavior does not constitute rape.”
After combing through Han’s education documents, witness testimonies, and the results of a “bone test,” authorities determined that Han was actually born in 1997 — not 2001, as indicated on her household registration, which she had altered using a fake birth certificate. The investigators added that Han was already over 18 when she met Bao, and therefore not a minor.
“According to the conclusions of the judicial appraisal, Han had the ability to defend herself from sex and testify,” the investigation result said. “The content in Han’s statement about Bao allegedly sexually abusing her and the submitted relevant material evidence are not consistent with the facts, and cannot be used as the basis for confirming a crime.”
However, the investigators condemned Bao on moral grounds for engaging in sexual activity with Han while believing she was a minor: He was apparently unaware of her true age at the time.
“(It) seriously violates social ethics, public order, and good custom, and should be condemned by society,” the document said.
Investigators said the public security bureau had dealt with Han’s case “according to the law,” adding that some police officers had responded to her “bluntly.” According to the South Reviews article, Han had reported her situation to police in Beijing and the eastern Shandong province multiple times, but they refused to open a case for reasons that were never explained.
On Thursday, China’s Ministry of Public Security also decided to deport Bao to the United States — he secretly, and illegally, held American citizenship — for violating standards for lawyers’ conduct. The Ministry of Justice has revoked his license to practice law.
Editor: Bibek Bhandari.
(Header image: People Visual)