The first-instance verdict of the 'engagement rape case' has been announced, and the man has been sentenced to 3 years for the crime of rape. How can we interpret this from a legal perspective?

On the morning of December 25th, the first-instance verdict of the “Engagement Rape Case” in Datong, Shanxi, sentenced the defendant to three years in prison for the crime of rape. The defendant’s relatives and the defendant’s mother, Ms. Zhen, told Huashangbao Dafeng News reporter after the verdict, “My son does not accept the judgment and has filed an appeal.“On the 4th day of the engagement, the girl reported the case, and the boy’s side claimed that the girl had received a 100,000 yuan betrothal gift and also wanted the property deed to be registered in her name. Ms. Zhen introduced that on May 1st, under the witness of an intermediary, her 27-year-old son and a 24-year-old girl held an engagement banquet. The boy gave the girl half of the betrothal gift, 100,000 yuan (the other half to be paid when marrying), and a 7.2-gram gold ring. She, her husband, and their son all placed their handprints on the document, promising that one year after marriage, the girl’s name would be added to the property deed of the 90-plus square meter marital home.On the day of the engagement, the betrothal gift agreement signed and handprinted by the two prospective newlyweds indicated that if the boy reneged before marriage, the engagement ring and 100,000 yuan betrothal gift would not be returned to the girl; if the girl reneged before marriage, the engagement ring and 100,000 yuan betrothal gift must be returned to the boy. On May 2nd, in accordance with local customs, the girl’s side held a “returning the bride” banquet. In the afternoon of the same day, the two prospective newlyweds engaged in sexual intercourse.“On the same day, the girl asked my son to immediately bring the property deed home and put her name on it, along with the additional 100,000 yuan betrothal gift that was supposed to be given during the wedding. At that time, we didn’t have that much money, and the property deed was not at hand. She became emotional and accused my son of rape,” Ms. Zhen told reporters. On that day, the prospective mother-in-law found her prospective son-in-law for a conversation and recorded it, demanding that the girl’s name be added to the property deed and the remaining 100,000 yuan betrothal gift be paid.On the 4th day of the engagement, which was May 4th, the girl reported to the Yanggao County police that she had been raped by the young man. Ms. Zhen said, “On May 4th, I wrote a guarantee in front of the police at the county public security bureau, promising to add her name. On May 5th, the family brought back the property deed, but the girl said it was too late and claimed that my son didn’t cherish her.” On May 5th, Ms. Zhen’s son was taken into custody by the police on suspicion of rape and was later prosecuted to the Yanggao County Court on June 26th, with the trial held on August 24th. “Engagement Rape Case” first-instance verdict: the man is sentenced to 3 years for the crime of rape and appeals in court.

We need to consider this case from two aspects, not just the legal perspective. (Assuming, assuming, assuming what the man said is true)

Firstly, we need to analyze from the standpoint of common sense and reason. Why would a woman who is engaged and has gone through the engagement ceremony refuse to accuse the man of rape?

Firstly, objectively speaking, whether engaged or even married, if a woman does not consent, the man cannot force himself upon her. Being engaged does not mean one can do whatever they wish; there should be a basic level of respect.

According to official media reports, the police were called on the day of the incident, but the case was not filed until later.

Even without analyzing from a legal perspective, from the common understanding of an engaged couple, it’s quite normal for them to have sexual relations. If there’s a conflict, is there something else hidden?

In the current environment of acute gender conflict, it’s rare to see a real rapist openly boasting about their crimes while the victim remains silent. Either he is a scoundrel, or he is truly wronged.

From a legal perspective

Title: Christmas Three Big Gifts News for All Single Men:

  1. “Engagement Rape Case” in Datong, Shanxi, First Trial Verdict, Defendant Sentenced to 3 Years;

  2. “16 Years of Marriage, 3 Non-Biological Children” Case to Go to Court, Parties Hope Biological Father of Children Will Come Forward;

  3. Man Supports Girlfriend and Her Husband’s Family for 5 Years, Cheated out of 2 Million and Chooses to Forgive.

I am puzzled by the perplexing logic of our country’s extraordinary judges regarding free judgments.

When a breakup occurs after an engagement, and there is a request for the return of the betrothal gifts, it is argued that even though there was no marriage certificate, there was already a shared life in practice, and a wedding banquet was held, forming a de facto marriage in the public consciousness. Therefore, the betrothal gifts are not to be returned.

But when it comes to engaging in sexual activities after an engagement, it is claimed that since there was no marriage certificate, it does not constitute a de facto marriage?


Alright, alright, alright! This is fantastic news!

I can’t believe we’re still hearing such good news before the New Year!

Chinese New Year, or rather, all the days to come!

We now have another vivid example to fend off the relentless bombardment from our horde of aunts and uncles!

Of course, if the dear judges could hand down even heavier sentences, my voice could be a bit louder!

The situation has now evolved to a point where its impact can be compared to the Nanjing Peng Yu case.

In the case of Peng Yu, there are still many discussions about the true nature of the incident. However, there is no longer a need for such discussions because the impact of the Peng Yu case cannot be altered by verifying the truth.

Similarly, in the Datong rape case, there are various opinions on social media. Some believe that a conviction is a good thing, while others advocate for the accused. As the Datong case has progressed, this verdict has not only affected everyone but has also served as a warning to male citizens. Now, before helping an elderly person or getting married, one must think twice. People are now more aware that even if they are married, the person sleeping beside them every night could potentially send them to prison. They may have to battle with their boss at work and live in constant fear at home. Are they afraid or not?

Of course, this is only the first trial, and an appeal has already been filed in court. The outcome of the second trial remains to be seen. Ideally, it would follow the Nanjing case with a three-year suspended sentence. If the original verdict is upheld, then this case will become one of the most explosive events of 2024, much like the Nanjing Peng Yu case, with an impact spanning several generations.

First, we need to align our information.

The undisputed facts are as follows:

The incident occurred on May 2nd, which is the day of the engagement banquet, and the intimate encounter took place in the bridal chamber.

On May 1st, the day before the incident, the groom gave the bride half of the betrothal gifts, which is 100,000 yuan and a 7.2-gram gold ring. Both parties pressed their fingerprints on the written agreement, promising to pay the remaining 100,000 yuan of betrothal gifts at the time of marriage. A year after marriage, the bride’s name would be added to the property deed.

In essence, it was a deal that included half a house and an additional 200,000 yuan to marry.

Furthermore, the agreement explicitly stated that if the groom had a change of heart before marriage, he would not return the engagement ring and the initial 100,000 yuan betrothal gifts. It was essentially a “payment before delivery” risky strategy.

So where is the controversy?

The groom’s side claims that on the evening of the same day, the bride’s mother-to-be had a conversation with the groom, recorded it, and demanded that the bride’s name be added to the property deed, along with the remaining 100,000 yuan of betrothal gifts.

On the fourth day of the engagement, which is May 4th, the bride reported that she had been raped by the groom.

The groom’s side argues that on May 4th, they even wrote a commitment letter at the police station, promising to add her name. On May 5th, the family retrieved the property deed, but the bride said it was too late and accused them of not valuing her.

The bride’s side’s version of events is as follows:

In the bridal chamber, the groom initiated sexual intercourse, but the bride requested to wait until after marriage. The groom disregarded her refusal and forced himself upon her.

Afterward, the bride became emotionally distressed, set fire to the bedroom cabinet, living room curtains, and engaged in other destructive behaviors. She ran out of the room, descended the stairs to the 13th floor, and cried for help. The groom forcibly dragged her back into the room.

That night, the victim reported the incident to the police.

So, the core disagreement between the parties revolves around the classic question:

What constitutes sexual consent, and how is sexual assault defined?

From the groom’s perspective, if the bride didn’t want to engage in sexual activity, why did she enter the room with him in an intimate manner? It seemed like they were ready for a romantic encounter.

From the bride’s perspective, she had clearly stated that she wanted to wait until after marriage.

From the groom’s perspective, the marriage was already arranged, and he had already provided the 200,000 yuan and the 7.2-gram diamond ring. Even if it were considered a transaction, he believed he had paid enough.

From the bride’s perspective, she had expressed her refusal. Whether it was verbal or physical, the message was clear. If the groom persisted, it amounted to coercion.

The contentious nature of this case largely stems from the fact that all the information we have is about events that occurred after the incident. We cannot judge a person’s intent during or prior to an incident solely based on their behavior afterward.

People’s emotions and feelings can change, and it’s entirely possible for someone to change their mind about consent after the fact. It’s not uncommon for both men and women to experience a period of regret after a sexual encounter. Is that not normal?

Furthermore, the bride’s family’s behavior after the incident, which involved negotiating for the addition of her name to the property deed and the remaining betrothal gifts, complicates the determination of sexual assault based on post-incident actions.

The key to determining the case should focus on events leading up to and during the incident. Currently, there are only two pieces of evidence:

  1. The bruising on the bride’s wrist and arm, which could potentially be self-inflicted and may have occurred due to the struggle afterward.

  2. The video of the couple being affectionate in the elevator on the day of the engagement banquet. However, legally speaking, this does not prove anything, as some lawyers have stated, “No means no.”

In summary, both parties lack strong evidence, and it appears that the case should be considered “innocent until proven guilty.” However, given the fast-paced developments in this case, the initial verdict sentenced the groom to three years in prison.

Instances of sexual assault like this are not unprecedented. After all, in the Nanjing blind date case, the initial verdict was also three years before being revised.

But what stands out in this case is the attitude of the bride’s family.

It’s important to remember that sexual assault is a serious crime. In such a severe situation with such a significant charge and a traumatic experience, one would expect the victim’s family to be unable to even look at the perpetrator, let alone engage in negotiations. One would expect them to harbor intense resentment towards the perpetrator and desire severe punishment, possibly even wishing harm upon the perpetrator.

Yet, the attitude on this side was to negotiate the addition of the bride’s name to the property deed and the payment of the remaining betrothal gifts at the earliest opportunity.

Consider this: if the couple were to proceed with the marriage, it would mean that the bride would have to live her entire life with someone who had harmed her, continuing to engage in sexual relations. Is she willing or unwilling?

This situation feels as if it’s saying, “They are my dearest relatives and close friends, my brothers and sisters. Let’s just settle it with money.”

In short, when the price is not agreed upon, it becomes sexual assault.

The judgment was problematic.

Here, I quote the original judgment: “The engagement between the two parties is a customary practice among the people and not a legally registered marriage.”

This is the main basis for the conviction.

Here’s a small piece of knowledge: in our country, marital rape is only considered a crime in one specific situation, which is when it occurs during divorce proceedings or after a separation of more than two years. This is understandable since divorce in China can be challenging (especially when one party disagrees), so there should be some room for one party to change their mind during the marriage.

However, if marital rape were to be recognized, leaving aside the ethical question of turning a marriage certificate into a mere financial contract, it would result in tens of thousands, even hundreds of thousands of criminal cases flooding into the courts every year. A significant number of middle-class and upper-class men would be brought to trial. If these men were acquitted, the courts would face immense public pressure. If they were convicted, China would need to establish numerous detention centers, leading to significant social instability. Ultimately, tens of thousands, or even millions of women would pay the price for their impulsive and shortsighted actions with their lives.

So, during the course of a marriage, it should not be considered rape.

From a legal standpoint, this case makes sense. Engagement is simply a custom among the people, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

However, the issue lies in the existence of double standards.

Note that, in legal terms, betrothal gifts are given conditionally and are dependent on the establishment and continuance of the marriage.

But there have been numerous cases where even though there was no marriage and the couple cohabited, the betrothal gifts were not returned.

In this betrothal gifts case, there was no formal marriage relationship (as factually recognized, marriages were only acknowledged before 1994). Yet, why was it dismissed?

So, do you see it now? This is a classic example of double standards.

Engagement and cohabitation—what is considered a marriage, and what is not? The current understanding is that during rape charges, engagement is not considered a marriage, but when it comes to betrothal gifts, it is.

Honestly, as a woman and a law student, I also find it challenging to understand why such double standards exist. It can be said that in today’s environment, if a man is willing to pay betrothal gifts to marry you, sisters, just get married. Whether or not he’s a good person is debatable, but there aren’t many fools left.

In foreign countries, there are also many marriage laws that are unfavorable to those with assets. For example, many people criticize “divorce alimony,” where the higher-earning party pays support to the other party until they remarry or find employment (note that this isn’t limited to men paying women). The way to circumvent this overseas is for many unmarried couples to cohabit without marriage certificates.

But what I’m telling you now is that this approach won’t work in China. You may think that by not getting married, you’re safe. But now, it’s not just about not returning betrothal gifts; even cohabitation relationships will have to divide property in the future.

This extreme suppression of one party’s rights by the judiciary will lead to a complete collapse of the marriage rate. Currently, China’s marriage rate and birth rate are among the lowest in the world, and the collapse of the birth rate is almost precipitous, without any bottom. Just a few years ago, China’s birth rate was nearly twice what it is today. I would like to remind you that this kind of collapse in the birth rate in China has only been seen during periods of large-scale wars and famines in history. No other country in the world has experienced this phenomenon, not even Russia in the 1990s, on such a scale.

Any right comes with responsibilities, and once rights are unrestricted, it inevitably means the abuse of those rights. Just as it is generally believed in society that men should pay betrothal gifts and make more efforts in a marriage, there are no rules governing how to restrain the other party from getting divorced or whether money should be refunded in case of divorce. So, the unconstrained party begins to abuse their rights, seeking to maximize their benefits.

Not getting back the betrothal gifts has resulted in some male families facing financial difficulties, ultimately leading them to a life of crime. Slightly more affluent male families, when subjected to such a financial reckoning, lose the ability to get married and establish their own careers. They also make another contribution to the national sterilization program.

Even for women, is this necessarily a good thing?

With a little effort, you can get tens of thousands or even hundreds of thousands in hand. Who would bother working hard to earn money? I work almost every day, and I barely make a few thousand yuan a month.

Doing this to men now, what’s stopping us from doing it to companies, bosses, and leaders next time? Can anyone afford not to earn money?

The real traditional women who want to live a good life will encounter smarter and smarter men in the future.

Profit benefits only a very small minority, while the cost is borne by everyone.

The reason this system hasn’t completely collapsed yet is simply that the pornography industry is still illegal, even covering animated erotica. Marriage is just a last resort for most men (due to parental factors as well). However, history tells us that state-run entities can never ensure the perpetuity of an industry or make it a never-ending source of wealth. Is the real estate market stable enough? Is it well-protected? How is the real estate market doing now?

I’m not criticizing this case itself; there’s nothing wrong with the judgment in this case. The problem arises when you apply the standards of this case to other cases, leading to contradictory conclusions.

These judgments, which deviate from legal logic, may come from a chauvinistic judge who believes he is “protecting women,” or perhaps from a female judge who pities the woman and thinks, “she’s so pitiful,” or even from a young judge who fears “stirring up public opinion.”

But regardless of the source, the rules themselves have been disrupted.


Now that the economy is not doing well, most people are poor, and taking money from the poor has never had good consequences.

The crime of rape is considered a serious offense with a minimum sentence of three years. In the case where the defendant does not plead guilty, the court’s decision to impose the minimum three-year sentence reflects the judge’s struggle with the uniqueness of the case and a certain degree of leniency.

A three-year sentence theoretically provides the possibility of probation. This is because probation is only applicable to criminals sentenced to imprisonment or up to three years of imprisonment. Therefore, it is impossible to grant probation for a sentence of three years and one day.

Since there is no admission of guilt and yet the minimum sentence is imposed, it indicates the judge’s intention to consider probation. But why is it still an actual prison sentence? This is because probation requires a demonstration of remorse, and the prerequisite for remorse is an admission of guilt. Since there is no admission of guilt, there is no remorse, and without remorse, probation cannot be granted. Of course, there are extremely exceptional cases in practice, such as the case of a Didi driver. In this case, the driver admitted guilt in the early stages but later, especially during the trial, denied guilt. However, this case garnered widespread attention and increased sympathy for the driver in the later stages. In this context, the court granted probation, to some extent, taking public opinion into account. The reason probation was granted in the Didi case despite the lack of an admission of guilt is related to the driver acknowledging the facts but not accepting the legal application. With the acknowledgment of the facts as a basis, it laid the foundation for probation.

The biggest difference between this case and the Didi case lies in the evidence. In the Didi case, it can be said that the evidence was relatively substantial, and the controversy centered around the legal application. In the case of engagement rape, the evidence is not strong.

In theory, even in the case of engagement, if a husband forcibly engages in sexual relations against the wife’s will, it can still constitute rape. Therefore, engagement is not a reason to exclude rape. Whether it constitutes rape depends on whether the woman’s will was violated.

The uniqueness of this case lies in the fact that, on the one hand, the incident occurred during the engagement period, and, on the other hand, both parties' parents provided certain evidence from their respective perspectives. For example, the woman’s parents provided a recording in which the man admitted to the rape. The man’s parents, on the other hand, mentioned the woman’s strong demand to have her name added to the property. Therefore, there was a motive for the woman to accuse rape if her demands were not met.

Without comprehensive knowledge of all the evidence in the case, it is difficult to make an objective evaluation of the judgment. However, the uniqueness of this case suggests that the following points should be fully considered:

  1. The degree to which the woman’s will was violated should be evident. Analyzing the physical contact between the parties in the elevator, the fact that they had an emotional foundation and were engaged, if the woman’s desire to avoid sexual relations was not strong, or if she merely expressed reluctance verbally, leading the man to misinterpret her as being shy or hesitant, then, in the absence of violence or coercion, it should be carefully determined whether rape can be established.

  2. Peripheral evidence should be collected to the fullest extent possible. For example, if the woman is against premarital sexual activity, and if she had previous relationships with other boyfriends, it may be relevant to inquire about her past relationships. Although character evidence cannot be directly used to determine a case, it is still an important reference.

  3. Objective and rational treatment of recorded evidence. In this case, a key piece of evidence that established rape was the recording provided by the woman’s family. In the recording, the man admitted to the rape. A comprehensive analysis of this self-admission is necessary, considering factors such as the context in which it was made and the man’s subsequent explanations. In summary, the evaluation should not be relaxed merely because of the self-admission.

The first trial of this case has been concluded, and the defendant has expressed an intention to appeal. There are three possible outcomes for the future of this case:

  1. Upholding the original verdict, which is in line with the general practice in judicial proceedings.

  2. Probation upon admission of guilt. As mentioned earlier, leaving room for probation with a minimum three-year sentence, if the defendant admits guilt during the second trial, considering the unique circumstances of this case, probation would be appropriate.

  3. Acquittal in the second trial or in subsequent retrials. The case of the Hebei blind date rape, through a retrial, resulted in an acquittal, indicating that the same evidence can lead to different conclusions with the passage of time and different personnel. What happens today may be different from what happens tomorrow. Of course, various factors are involved in this.

Whether it is consensual or rape is a worldwide challenge. For example, the case of Jian Ghomeshi in a Western country was initially arrested and detained but was later released. Although there was no criminal prosecution in the end, a considerable amount of compensation was paid in civil proceedings. Xiaorizi has launched a consent app that requires mutual confirmation before engaging in sexual activity. I don’t know if you think this is feasible?

Finally, a humble request for attention, because attention doesn’t get lost.

All boomerangs and backlashes will eventually arrive at a future moment, and there will be a day of reckoning with bloodshed and carnage.

The impact of this case on social norms will not be less than that of the Peng Yu case.

People will be afraid to get married, just like in the past decade, people still hesitate to help the elderly.

The marriage rate and birth rate are still too high.

This prompts deep reflection. What if, during a casual encounter, a woman whispers in your ear,

“Be rough with me, I like it,”

and then the next day she shows up at the forensics with bruises on her body?

I want to clarify that I haven’t been involved in such encounters, I’m just expressing concern on behalf of a friend who engages in consensual relationships.

I saw it coming a long time ago. Next, I estimate that the bottom line will be raised to 2; this is a classic case.

So, who would dare?

One can only say that not getting married and not having children is the way to safety. Elon Musk, your catgirl robot better come to the domestic market soon!

Everyone said, “Invite Mr. Death,” and now it has become an ironclad case.

Although the media interviewed the judge and detailed the “crime” process, why do so many people still believe it’s a wrongful conviction? In fact, these have nothing to do with the specific details of the case. They feel it’s a wrongful conviction because they believe the authorities are not trustworthy. In plain terms, the public has lost confidence in the credibility of the national judiciary. This is because over time, our judicial system has gradually been exposed to systematic gender discrimination. Moreover, the Hitch case reflects the long-term detention, which causes the judicial system to be afraid of being held accountable for its own interests, leading to an unwritten rule of intentionally convicting the “defendant.” So, based on these two points, many people do not believe that the judgment of this case is fair. Building trust is difficult, but destroying it is easy; rebuilding it after destruction is even harder. The rule of law should not only be about governing with state power according to the law, but also about using facts to make people believe in the fairness and justice of the rule of law. It can only be said that the impact of the Hitch case on China’s legal construction is far more profound than most people think.

The second trial sentenced to three years, suspended for three, I’ve watched this episode.

Do you understand the significance of being detained for 200 days?

The details of the case are not important at all; what matters is being detained for 200 days. Things like not notifying the lawyer in advance before the court hearing, or leaving the victim mentally distressed before the trial, are all basic procedures, wisdom passed down from our ancestors.

After detaining you for 200 days, even if they exonerate you, where can the court hide its face, and where can Guo Jia’s face go?

They could have convicted you directly, but they still held a trial for you. Be grateful.

I’ll leave you with this: in the case of “rat heads turned into duck necks,” if that student had also been arrested and detained for 200 days, they could have turned rat heads into dragon necks and still secured a solid conviction for you.

As the year-end approaches, the material collection work for “底线2” next year is perfectly concluded. The only unexpected thing was that Shanxi secured the last spot. Guangdong courts, let’s step up our efforts.

Just based on my impression, here’s some casual commentary: Chengdu and Nanjing must be the “old money” of the Chinese legal world, while Datong and Zhengzhou, with their outstanding performance this year, have joined the ranks of the newly rich.

Note: A reminder from a netizen, I forgot about Changsha; my apologies, I deserve to be punished with three drinks.

Our country’s laws are not yet perfect at the moment. I propose the following legislation:

  1. After being rejected in expressing romantic interest twice, a third attempt will be considered sexual harassment, punishable by a minimum of 6 months in prison.

  2. Upon a successful romantic proposal, there should be a requirement for pre-engagement registration. After registering the engagement at a notary office, there should be a one-year waiting period before marriage.

  3. Engaging in sexual activity after engagement should not involve compensation. Charging fees for such activities should be treated as solicitation or prostitution.

  4. Individuals must voluntarily report their intent for sexual activities to designated community authorities on a weekly basis. Each commitment is valid for 48 hours.

  5. Bridal gifts (dowry) should be deposited into a third-party financial oversight account. Withdrawals are only permitted if a couple plans to have a second child.

Their daring overdraw of public trust and reckless actions are simply based on the assumption that men are still willing to reason.

Due to the fact that in order to protect women’s legal rights efficiently and cost-effectively, the Heavenly Kingdom’s criminal law has a monumental bug, the sole criterion for defining adultery or rape is: whether it violates the will of the woman .

The key issue, however, is that will is subjective and changeable, a problem that cannot be solved by any technological means .

For example, a couple drinks a little, and then consensually engages in sexual activity. Later, the woman demands a dowry of three hundred thousand and joint ownership of a house, but the man refuses. The woman immediately reports to the police, claiming she was raped while intoxicated by the man. The police, the prosecution, and the court have no way to protect this man.