CHINA> Regional
Man forced to rape 'in trance'
By Wang Huazhong (China Daily)
Updated: 2009-07-23 07:17

A man who was abducted by a gang, forced to rape and strangle a young woman, and then was blackmailed over photos taken of the ordeal, is still struggling to recover nine months later.

"He is so distraught and always looks as if he's in a trance. Now he's in therapy and is off work," said a director of the local procuratorate who identified himself as Li.

The 24-year-old man, surnamed Xia, was working as a driver for the procuratorate of Xinhua district in Pingdingshan city, Henan province, when he was attacked in October.

"The gang snatched Xia in front of his home," Li told China Daily yesterday.

The 25-year-old female victim, Wang Kejia, was later pulled into a minivan and driven to a rented house where the gang sexually assaulted her, Beijing News reported.

The gang blindfolded Xia and forced him to rape the girl while recording the act with cameras.

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They threatened to strangle Xia if he did not tighten a rope tied around the girl's neck.

He was later released by the gang, which then attempted to blackmail him with the photographs to get 10 million yuan ($1.46 million).

"They might have known his father was a deputy manager of a local credit cooperative," Li said.

On Oct 14 Xia went to police, who launched an investigation and later arrested and charged eight suspects who will face trial at a later date.

Li said when he visited Xia he could see a mark across his face from masking tape. There were also marks around his neck.

The body of Wang Kejia was found in a deserted 50-m deep mine in the city's Jiaxian county on Nov 8.

The cause of her death is unknown, however her body showed signs of injury.

The girl's father, Wang Gengyou, said Xia should also be charged because his misconduct was against "morality and justice".

China's Criminal Law says the penalty for an offender who has been coerced to commit crimes can be lessened or even exempted according to the circumstances.

The gang reportedly carried out the crime soon after they were released from serving more than 10 years in jail for robberies.