The man, Chen Jizhi, was found guilty of eight charges relating to the June attack in the city of Tangshan, as well as other criminal activities uncovered during the ensuing investigation, according to a statement issued by Guangyang District Court in Langfang, Hebei Province.
The charges included picking quarrels and provoking trouble, intentional injury, and involvement in organized crime for the past decade.
The court found that Chen and four other men beat a woman surnamed Wang and three other women with punches, chairs and glass bottles inside the restaurant and in the alleyway outside after Wang resisted Chen’s advances. The attack left two of the women hospitalized.
The court also found the attackers were members of a local criminal organization whose activities dated to 2012, including kidnapping, robbery and the running of gambling operations.
The group “organized for evil, oppressed the people, disrupted the order of local economy and social life, and caused detrimental social impact,” the court statement read.
In addition to fining Chen 320,000 yuan (about $45,000), the court ordered him and six others to reimburse the four victims for medical and other costs arising from the attack.
Besides Chen, the other 27 defendants in the case were jailed for fixed terms ranging from six months to 11 years, while 19 of them were fined between 3,000 and 135,000 yuan (about $420 to $19,000).
The Tangshan attack, CCTV footage of which quickly spread online, elicited an outpouring of anger among Chinese internet users, many of whom voiced serious concerns over the treatment of women in the country.
The publicity prompted swift action from the authorities, who launched an investigation into the response by local police. The attack also resulted in the removal of Tangshan from China’s honorary list of “civilized” cities.
The verdict on Friday was cheered on Weibo, a popular Chinese social media platform, with many commenters saying Chen’s harsh sentence was well deserved.
“Don’t let his sentence be reduced — let him serve 24 years in prison, and then come out to find himself decoupled from society,” one user wrote.
Such harsh verdicts relating to…