A veteran teacher working in a prominent school in the Chinese port city of Dalian has been jailed for 16 years after being found guilty of sexual assault and beating his pupils for over two years, local media reports.
Li Chao Yuan taught at the elite Rui Ge Middle School and had been charged with indecent assault and acting indecently against 16 children, according to the South China Morning Post.
It was only after a pupil from Yuan’s class told his parents his teacher did “something extremely gross” to him in January - when the boy was taken to Yuan’s home - that authorities took action.
The pupil also said that Yuan kissed and inappropriately touched another student in front of the class.
Out of the 18 students in Yuan’s class, only two said they had not been assaulted. Parents of the victims said their children were now suffering from depression, anxiety and paranoia as a result of the abuse.
Yuan appealed the verdict in August, according to the Morning Post report. Parents of the students also intend to sue both the school and the teacher for compensation.
China has been criticized in the past for failing to address sexual or physical violence by teachers in schools.
Last year, Save the Children warned that there was a “high risk” of abuse at boarding schools without adequate safeguards being put in place to protect students.