Date
29 March 2017
Yang Yuhan (left), Zhang Xinlei and Zhai Yunyao have been jailed for violent assaults on fellow teenage Chinese students. Photo: LA Times
Yang Yuhan (left), Zhang Xinlei and Zhai Yunyao have been jailed for violent assaults on fellow teenage Chinese students. Photo: LA Times

Chinese teens jailed for brutal assaults on students in LA

Three 19-year-old mainland Chinese who attended high school in Southern California were sentenced to long prison terms for violent assaults on fellow “parachute kids”, including one attack that lasted for hours, KTLA5 TV reported.

“Helen” Zhai Yunyao was sentenced Wednesday to 13 years in state prison.

She had assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a restaurant and in a park in Rowland Heights — an upmarket suburb dominated by immigrants from Taiwan and mainland China.

Zhai punched and slapped the victim, the Los Angeles district attorney’s office said.

Her male co-defendant, “John” Zhang Xinlei, who took part in the attack on March 28 last year, was sentenced to six years in state prison. 

Two days after the first attack, Zhai, Zhang and another young woman, “Coco” Yang Yuhan, kidnapped an 18-year-old girl from an ice cream store in Rowland Heights.

They took the victim to Rowland Heights Country Park, where she was stripped naked, spat upon, kicked, punched and beaten, the DA’s office said.

“Camellia” Liu Yiran testified that she was kicked with high-heeled shoes, slapped and burned with cigarettes, the Los Angeles Times reported.

The attackers cut off the victim’s hair, making her eat it, the DA’s office said.

The attack lasted more than five hours.

All three defendants pleaded no contest to kidnapping and assault.

A prosecutor told the newspaper his office agreed to drop torture charges against the teens because they had no criminal history, and a conviction on the charge could bring a life sentence.

Yang was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

Investigators believe other teens who were involved in the incidents have fled the country, the Times reported.

The suspects are among “parachute kids” from China who arrive in the United States without their families to attend school.

The young Chinese often pay for room and board at private homes and attend private schools, the newspaper said.

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