Kris Wu sentenced to 13 years in prison by Chinese court for rape and gang sex

Kris Wu, the Sino-Canadian music and acting star, was sentenced on Friday to a 13-year prison sentence by a Chinese court. She was found guilty of gang rape and licentiousness. The court said you will be deported after serving your sentence, according to state-controlled media.

Wu (full name Wu Yifan) was arrested and formally charged in August last year. His case was argued in June in a case without media access.

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The allegations against Wu were made in July 2021 by 18-year-old beauty industry influencer Du Meizhu. The woman took to social media to accuse the musician and actor of raping her when she was 17 and while she was intoxicated. Du later also accused him of doing the same to other young women, including two minors. (The age of consent in China is 14.)

Wu denied the allegations at the time, and police initially appeared to side with the star. But two weeks later, the Chaoyang District People’s Procuratorate in Beijing released an official statement saying it approved Wu’s arrest “after an investigation in accordance with the law.”

A court filing after the conviction said Wu forced three women to have sex with him in 2020, while under the influence of alcohol. And in 2018, she had organized lewd activities at his house with two women, again with alcohol involved. The same statement said Canadian embassy officials were present for the sentencing.

In China, the crime of rape usually carries a prison sentence of between three and ten years, although in particularly serious cases the penalty can be as much as life imprisonment or even the death penalty. Group licentiousness, defined as sex involving three or more participants over the age of 16, carries a prison sentence of up to five years.

Media reports at the time of the June trial suggested Wu faced a prison sentence of three to ten years. The 13-year sentence is longer than that and may indicate aggravating factors or a court decision to make a celebrity example.

Separately, on Friday, Wu was fined RMB 600 million (about $83 million) for tax evasion by the Beijing Municipal Tax Service of the State Tax Administration, state media reported.

The June rape hearing was held behind closed doors, ostensibly to protect the victim’s identity. It also served to keep the fans and press attention at bay for the trial of one of the biggest celebrities in the country.

Wu was born in China, but has Canadian nationality. He rose to prominence as part of the Chinese-language offshoot of Korean boyband EXO, before focusing on his career in China. The rapper has become a TV fixture as a judge and mentor on shows including ‘The Rap of China’ and has had a personal following of over 50 million on the Sina Weibo social media platform.

In 2018, he signed an exclusive distribution deal with Universal Music. At the time, Sunny Chang, president of Universal Music Group Greater China, praised Wu, one of the first Chinese artists to reach No. 1 on the US iTunes chart, calling him a “true musical talent”.

Previously represented by UTA and CAA, Wu has appeared in Hollywood films including “XXX: Return of Xander Cage” and “Valerian and the City of a Thousand Planets,” as well as Chinese films like “Mr. Six” and the 2016 fantasy “LORD Legend of Ravaging Dynasties” and its 2020 sequel.

While a number of fans continued to protest Wu’s innocence, the 2021 indictment was enough to end the career of one of China’s most recognizable and ubiquitous celebrities. After appearing on billboards and magazine covers, Wu was quickly canceled by more than a dozen of the brands he endorsed.

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