A Hong Kong district court heard the case Wednesday of an international school student who claims her classmate sexually assaulted her during a school trip two years ago.
According to the prosecution, the incidents took place on two separate occasions—January 31 and February 2 in 2018—during a trip to Suzhou, China. On both days, the alleged victim, who identified as X, was in her hotel room with a male friend when he is said to have touched her inappropriately.
He pleaded not guilty to two counts of indecent assault last year and was released on bail. The girl was 15 years old at the time and her classmate was 17.
The defendant testified Wednesday that she and the boy were lying in bed and listening to music in her hotel room. Suddenly, he began moving closer to her and allegedly touched her inappropriately. The incident happened again two days later.
She said she and the boy were close friends but that they did not have an intimate relationship.
South China Morning Post reported last year that the students attended German Swiss International School, and that the girl has since transferred.
The girl’s mother has hit out at the school and accused authorities of “victim blaming.” She told the Post that the school discouraged her daughter from reporting the alleged assault because the incidents did not happen in Hong Kong, so it “would be difficult for police to investigate even if the family decided to lodge a report.” The school has denied the mother’s claims.
After learning of the incidents, the school initially did not want to talk to the boy because exams were upcoming, the mother also added.
Indecent assault carries a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment in Hong Kong.
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