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Teacher executed in China for sexual abuse of students

A teacher has been put to death in China's Gansu province. Chinese courts had found him guilty of abusing dozens of young girls who attended the boarding school where he taught.

A former elementary school teacher was executed in China, state media reported late Thursday, after being convicted of sexually abusing 26 students.

The intermediate People's Court said it had carried out the sentence in the western province of Gansu after his conviction was upheld by the national Supreme People's Court.

Li Jishun was found guilty of molesting or raping the girls, aged from four to eleven, between 2011 and 2012. State news agency Xinhua said Li had been handed the most severe punishment possible because of the lifelong harm brought upon the children, as well as the "extremely negative social impact" of the case.

"He took advantage of those who were both childish and timid and committed his acts in dormitories or classrooms," Xinhua added.

The court found that Li had taken advantage not only of the girls' shyness, but also of his status as an authority figure and his victims' fear of reporting the abuse, to commit repeated assaults both inside the school and in a nearby forest. Many of the girls lived at the boarding school in the village while their parents worked in the cities.

According to the Supreme People's Court, child sexual abuse cases have increased in the past few years, with 7,145 cases throughout China in the 2012-2014 period.

es/jil (AP, AFP)

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