A man in central China married off his mentally disabled teenage daughter on three occasions between 2018 and 2021 to three different men for cash.
The father, surnamed Xie, from Lianyuan Hunan province, sold his daughter Tingting to receive bride payments. He claimed that his daughter was over 20 years old, although she was born in January 2005.
Tingting first got engaged to a man in 2018 when she was under 14 years old. In 2019, she was engaged to a man, surnamed Chen, in his 30s. She had just turned 14, although Xie kept her true age a secret. The matchmaker who brought the two together stated that she was “18 years old and young and fertile” and that she “doesn’t even know that one plus one equals two.”
When Chen asked Tingting for her ID card to open an account at the bank, he discovered that she was only 16 years old. He and his family, however, expressed nonchalance as the two had been married for more than two years at the time.
“She was young and fertile, which is difficult to find in rural regions,” Chen said per South China Morning Post.
Xie received more than 90,000 yuan (approximately $13,328) from Chen’s family. He also collected tens of thousands of yuan from the other two men as well.
When the Chen family discovered that Xie had sold his daughter to a third family, they demanded their money back. Xie refused to return the money.
When police arrested Xie in March, they discovered that he had spent all the money. The Lianyuan City Public Security Bureau announced on Aug. 2 that the investigation had been completed. The case has now been sent to prosecutors as they decide whether to charge Xie with fraud.
Xie’s wife, who also has a mental disability, was sent to a nursing home in Lianyuan City Center, while Tingting was sent to the Lianyuan City Social Welfare Institute.
Weibo users expressed outrage, condemning the father.
“[He’s] being prosecuted for alleged fraud [but] bodily harm to girls and ‘human trafficking’ are not illegal?” one user wrote.
“There are more crimes here, not [just] fraud crimes,” another user commented.