Exposing Police Corruption and Malfeasance: China's Virgin Prostitutes Cases

Contemporary China Centre
Publication Type:
Journal Article
The China Journal, 2010, July, 63 pp. 127 - 149
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This paper examines prostitution-related police corruption and malfeasance in the People¡¯s Republic of China (PRC) during the early 2000s, as exemplified by media coverage of the story of Ma Dandan and six other ¡°virgin prostitute cases¡± (chun¨¹ maiyin an ´¦Å®ÂôÒù°¸). At 8 p.m. on 8 January 2001, Ma Dandan, an eighteen-year-old woman from Jingyang County in Shaanxi Province, was watching television with her brother-in-law and niece in her sister¡¯s hairdressing salon. Two plainclothes police officers, Wang Haitao and Hu Anding, entered the premises and took her to the local police station for questioning about alleged involvement in the banned practice of prostitution. At the station, Wang and Hu, in the presence of chief police officer, Peng Liang, subjected Ma to 23 hours of abuse. She was slapped and kicked, sexually harassed, deprived of food, drink and sleep, and handcuffed to an outside basketball frame in the cold winter air, with the aim of forcing her to admit to engaging in prostitution. Having signed a confession under duress, Ma was released at 7 p.m. the following evening. The Jingyang County Police Department then issued a document imposing an administrative punishment fine on Ma Dandan for involvement in prostitution and sentencing her to 15 days¡¯ administrative detention. Ma eventually appealed that decision, demanding an apology from the policing authorities, restoration of her reputation and reparation of five million yuan for psychological distress, on the grounds that she was a virgin.
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