A schoolteacher in central China has been detained for allegedly sexually assaulting at least 15 young girls, according to Chinese media reports.
Xu Guozheng, a maths teacher in his 60s, is accused of inappropriately touching young primary school girls in his classroom in Baofeng county in Henan province, the news website China Youth Network reported.
Many of the girls were only aged about 10 and were threatened by the teacher not to speak out about what had happened, according to the accusations.
Police say there were 15 alleged victims, but parents at the school claim the real number may be higher.
The report did not say if Xu has been charged or if he has formally responded to the allegations.
Some parents were afraid that if the case was publicised it would adversely affect their children, so they decided not to report it to the police or even deny their children were affected, according to the article.
Many of the young girls allege that Xu molested them while they were at the classroom podium, or while seated, and that some boys in the class would watch and laugh.
At one point when parents came to the school to ask about the situation, some girls threw paper slips from the classroom with their parent’s contact information, hoping to alert the authorities about the case, according to local media reports.
One mother was quoted as saying her daughter used to be energetic and get excellent grades, but now refuses to eat or drink, barely speaks and will not let people touch her.
One of the alleged victim’s mothers claims she was assaulted when she tried to speak with school officials about the cases, the report said.
The school did not respond to calls asking for comment, according to the article.
Many of the girls at the centre of the allegations have since been transferred to different schools. – SCMP