A Chinese court on Friday sentenced Chinese-Canadian pop star Chris Wu to 13 years in prison for rape and other charges.
Beijing’s Chaoyang District Court said Wu was sentenced to 11 years and 6 months for the 2020 rape and 1 year and 10 months for “the crime of gathering a crowd to engage in sexual rape” in a 2018 incident. was convicted in which he and others allegedly assaulted two men. The women they had intoxicated.
The court said that three victims in the rape case were also drunk and incapable of giving consent.
It said a combined sentence of 13 years had been agreed and Wu would be deported immediately after serving his time.
“According to the facts … the nature of the crime, the circumstances and the harmful consequences, the court passed the above judgment,” the court said in an online statement.
It said a Canadian diplomat was in court to hear the sentence.
Wu was also fined 600 million yuan ($83.7 million) for tax evasion by massively underreporting his earnings from performances, advertising and other sources of income.
The state-run Xinhua news agency reported that Wu “used a fake business to change the nature of his income and falsely declare it, and hid personal income of 95 million through several domestic and overseas affiliated companies.” Yuan tax evaded.”
The June trial of the 32-year-old former member of South Korean group EXO was closed to the public to protect the victims’ privacy.
Wu had been detained since August 2021 while police investigated in response to online comments that he “repeatedly solicited young women for sex,” according to a police statement at the time.
That year, a young man accused her of having sex with him while she was drunk. Wu, known as Wu Yifan in Chinese, denied the allegation.
The young man then said that seven other women approached him and said that Wu lured them with promises of jobs and other opportunities. Some are under 18, he said.
Rape is punishable by three to 10 years in prison, although exceptional cases can result in a harsher sentence of up to death. Wu faces a second charge that carries a sentence of up to five years in prison.
Wu grew up in Guangzhou, China and Vancouver, British Columbia.
Wu was previously one of China’s most bankable stars, but brands including Louis Vuitton, Bulgari, L’Oreal Man and Porsche suspended their partnerships with him over the case.
And more victims spoke out online in the wake of the initial claims, accusing Wu’s staff of predatory behavior, including inviting them to boozy karaoke parties.
The hashtags “girls helping girls”, “girls helping girls” and “girls help girls time” — where women expressed solidarity with Du — were used by Chinese in the wake of the scandal. Censored from social media.
The Weibo trending hashtag “The law is the lowest standard of conduct” also garnered 830 million views, as users complained about the legal threshold required for victims to prove sexual assault in court.
China’s #MeToo movement
The story surrounding Wu sparked China’s #MeToo movement, which in 2018 saw a wave of women speak out about their experiences of being sexually harassed — sometimes involving powerful public figures.
Beijing has moved decisively to crack down on the feminist movement, arresting dozens of student activists in a zero-tolerance approach to those it sees as potential threats to its control.
A landmark lawsuit was brought by screenwriter Zhou Xiaoxuan against high-profile TV presenter Zhou Jun.A Beijing court also dismissed the appeal this August.
And while the tennis starA senior Communist Party politician sparked an international outcry last year, with his claims quickly censored in China.
Peng later denied making the accusation.
Wu’s case was at the center of a government crackdown on celebrity culture that intensified last summer.
At the same time as her arrest, top actress Zheng Shuang was fined $46 million for tax evasion, while references to movie star Zhao Wei were deleted from video streaming sites.
Officials said they were targeting unhealthy values and “absurd aesthetics”, ordering broadcasters to curtail reality talent shows andand “vulnerable influencers”.
Critics say the moves are aimed at increasing the Communist Party’s ideological control and curbing outside influences that could threaten its rule.
AFP contributed to this report.