Gay pimp gets one year in prison
( 2004-01-12 22:32) (China Daily)
A Shanghai man got a one-year jail sentence and a fine of 1,000 yuan (US$121) Monday for harbouring gay prostitutes.
Shao Wei, 39, was arrested last August, 20 days after he opened a bar called Xinlong.
The bar became a hangout for gay people some of whom found gay prostitutes there.
The Huangpu District People's Court heard the case in closed session.
"Before I contracted the bar, it was also a bar where gay people often went,'' Shao, who is gay, said in an interview before the hearing.
"I only knew it was wrong to be a pimp, arranging women prostitutes for men,'' he said. "However, I never knew such things between gay people were also a crime.''
"I never thought the police could detect it so quickly,'' he said.
According to the bill of prosecution, Shao was accused of harbouring prostitution on August 13 and 15 for three men. Police nabbed the three and their partners in two apartments and a local five-star hotel.
"I got around 100 yuan (US$12.1) once, but I did not force them to pay,'' Shao said.
According to prosecutors, he earned a total of 85 yuan (US$10.3) from the business. All the people involved were adults.
The 39-year-old man once spent two years in jail for robbery.
He said there are some similar bars especially for gays in the city. Since he had just started his business when nabbed, most customers were friends or acquaintances.
"Only friends knew it was a place for gays to meet," he said.
"They would not do anything immoderate in the bar other than drinking and chatting."
This is not the first case involving gay prostitution the court has heard.
Before this case, Changning District People's Court last year handled a similar case of harbouring prostitution for gays.
Last July, Wang Zhiming was sentenced to three years in jail for arranging male prostitutes.
He went to Beijing and hired four young men and charged 100 yuan (US$12.1) for each of them.
A homosexual young man, who declined to be identified, said gay prostitutes sometimes find their own partners. Prices for overnight service are around 300 yuan (US$36.3).
According to a bar-goer, who also asked to remain anonymous, the city has some bars and clubs that cater to homosexual people but pimps that deal with them exclusively are rare.
Organizing, forcing, seducing, harbouring or introducing prostitution became a crime after the Criminal Law was amended in 1997.
According to the law, those harboring prostitution or seducing or introducing others into prostitution face fines and up to five years in jail.
In serious cases sentences can be longer.
In March of 1998, a woman pimp was executed in Beijing for introducing prostitution.She's believed to be the first person sentenced to death for the crime.
Last December, two Chinese defendants in the notorious mass prostitution scandal involving a group of Japanese tourists in the Zhuhai Special Economic Zone in South China's Guangdong Province were sentenced to life in jail.
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