School teacher executed in China for raping 26 girls
China has executed a primary school teacher for raping and sexually abusing 26 schoolgirls.
Li Jishun committed the crimes between 2011 and 2012 while teaching at a village in Gansu province.
During his trial, the Supreme People's Court heard that Mr Li preyed on pupils aged 4 to 11 who were "young and timid".
Dubbed locally as the 'Grave threat', the teacher is believed to have raped 21 of his victims and sexually abused the other five in classrooms, dormitories, and the forest surrounding the village near Wushan town.
In a statement read out in court, police said that some of his victims had been raped or abused more than once.
No mention was made to how he was caught.
Mr Li was put to death on Thursday by the court in Tianshui, who said that the “heaviest punishment possible was required because of the harm caused to the children and 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,” it added.
In a rare disclosure of abuse statistics, the Supreme People's Court reported that it had heard 7,145 cases of child sexual abuse last year, and that these case types had risen by 40pc between 2012 and 2014.
Mr Li's sentencing was met with widespread approval on China's microblogging platform Weibo, with many expressing shock at the youth of his victims.