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Shenzhen official cleared of child molestation charge
By Chen Hong (China Daily)
Updated: 2008-11-06 07:34

Shenzhen - Police here said on Wednesday that there was insufficient evidence to show Lin Jiaxiang, former Party chief of the Shenzhen maritime affairs bureau, had molested an 11-year-old girl.

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Lin, 58, was said to have grabbed the girl by the throat and tried to force her into a men's toilet at a restaurant in Shenzhen on Oct 29.

"Our conclusion is that the behavior of Lin in this case cannot be sufficiently regarded as violating public security rules, including the charge of an indecent act toward a child," Luo Ruofeng, deputy director of Nanshan district police department, said at a press briefing.

"According to Lin and the girl's account, Lin did have bodily contact with the girl but the contact was limited to the joint of her shoulders and the neck," Luo said.

Lin followed the girl to the restroom. As they were walking, Lin put his hands on the girl's shoulders, the police said.

When they were about 8 m from the restroom, Lin held girl by the nape of the neck and kept asking her where the restroom was. She got frightened and ran back to her parents, the police said.

"Lin is 1.79 m tall and weighs 103 kg, but the girl easily got free of him. In other words, he was not using much force on the girl," Luo said.

Tests showed Lin's blood contained 123.7 mg of ethanol per 100 ml. According to Chinese laws, 80 mg is classified as being drunk.

Lin told the police he had tried to express his gratitude to the girl by putting his hands on her shoulders.

Besides several written statements from the two parties involved, the police also interviewed 161 people, and examined two video footage taken by the restaurant's closed-circuit camera.

The police also showed a 55-second video to prove their point on Wednesday.

"Neither video showed Lin had committed an indecent act against the child," Luo said.

The girl's father had no comment on the results of the investigation. He said he will consult legal experts on possible compensation for the girl's psychological distress.

Despite the police findings, Lin was sacked by the Ministry of Transport on Sunday.