Chinese stepmom charged for beating 6-year-old stepson, leaving him in coma
A woman faced the Linwei District Court in Weinan, Shaanxi province on China yesterday, Oct. 30, where she was charged with intentional assault and maltreatment after leaving her then-6-year-old stepson, Peng Peng, in a coma.
The woman, unidentified, was accused of beating Peng Peng often with bamboo sticks and rope, and tying him up with wire. She also forced Peng Peng to stand and kneel for a long time as punishment. As per Thepaper.cn via The South China Morning Post on Oct. 30, the stepmother could be jailed for 20 years if convicted.
It was last March 2017 when Peng Peng, now 7 years old, was abused so badly that he fell in a coma in the hospital. The charges come as a development to the case after the stepmother was arrested last year in May following an investigation.
The extent of Peng Peng’s suffering were nothing short of brutal and violent, leaving three quarters of his skull fractured, according to the doctors. Peng Peng also sustained broken ribs, skin ulcers, missing front teeth and permanently damaged eyesight from the abuse.
Peng Peng was living with his father, Zhao Liang, during that time, the report said. Zhao divorced Peng Peng’s mother, Chai Xiaoyuan, back in December 2015 and remarried the following year in October 2016.
Today, Peng Peng continues to be in a coma and is under the care of a public hospital. A donor who refused to be named shared that two specialist nurses are caring for Peng Peng at a cost of 5,500 yuan (around $790 or P42,000) every month — an amount covered by “Calling Peng Peng,” a China-wide crowdfunding campaign in support of the boy.
“This case is a complete tragedy — if no one had helped him, this child would have died already,”
the founder of the campaign, who is based in Beijing, was quoted as saying on WeChat.
Calling Peng Peng has amassed over 370,000 followers on the Chinese microblogging site Weibo where hospital visitors and members post updates about Peng Peng. Thus far, the campaign has raised over 2 million yuan (over P15 million) for Peng Peng’s treatments, as well as 20,000 yuan (over P150,000) more every single month via WeChat Pay, to aid in daily expenses such as food, clothing and full-time carers.
Zhang has not visited his son Peng Peng in the hospital, whereas Chai, who has also remarried, rarely gets to see him.
“That such a young child has suffered so much is heartbreaking,” Zhang Xia, one of the nurses looking after Peng Peng, said in the report. “Apart from us nurses, it’s just the volunteers and the donors who are supporting him.” Cody Cepeda/JB