Several girls in a middle school in Lincang, Yunnan Province are reported to have been forced into prostitution after being drugged, according to The Paper.
A local resident who claims to be an insider told the reporter that several girls in the eighth and ninth grade of Yunxian County Ethnic Middle School are being tricked or coerced into sex work.
The source also revealed that the students were sent to officials from other counties as “gifts,” which was later denied along with the prostitution accusation by the school's principal.
Three female students are confirmed to have been sexually assaulted, while two allegedly involved in the case have been arrested, according to the police.
The teenage girls are said to have been threatened by a woman surnamed Xu, who would beat them up if they didn’t comply. The students are usually taken to KTV bars or restaurants before being allegedly drugged and raped.
A mother told the reporter that her daughter was threatened by Xu to go to a room filled with 20 adult men while she was hanging out with her friends at a KTV bar during summer break this year. The girls were all forced to drink alcohol before one of them contacted her family and snuck out.
The mother said they didn’t even call the police afterwards because they feared retaliation. “Xu would take some kids out to be deflowered by the men, and then give them RMB50-100 to keep their mouths shut. Many parents didn’t even know. ”
According to an investigation by the local television station, a staff member of the KTV bar said Xu had been seen taking students to the venue several times. At the school, three out of 30 randomly picked students had heard about the forced prostitution ring.
A local official said that the number of victims was generally considered to be around 80, although other estimates put the number of victims at around 40.
The school principal said the number of girls “being taken out to eat and drink” was more than ten, adding, “These are all rumors. What kind of school would this be if so many students are prostitutes?”
The case is currently under investigation.