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February 17, 2016: Three Chinese Nationals Sentenced to Prison for Kidnapping, Assaults in Rowland Heights

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Sarah Ardalani, Public Information Officer
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Two women and one man were sentenced to prison today for a series of attacks on other Chinese national students, the Los Angeles County District Attorney’s Office announced.

Defendant Yunyao Zhai was sentenced to 13 years in state prison, while her co-defendant Xinlei Zhang was given a six year prison sentence. The third defendant, Yuhan Yang, was sentenced to 10 years in state prison.

On Jan. 5, Zhai pleaded no contest to two felony counts: kidnapping and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury in case KA109395. She also admitted a special allegation that she personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of those crimes.

At the same court date, Zhang also pleaded no contest to kidnapping and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury.

Yang pleaded no contest to kidnapping and assault by means of force likely to produce great bodily injury. Additionally, she admitted a special allegation that she personally inflicted great bodily injury during the commission of those crimes.

Deputy District Attorney Casey Jarvis, who prosecuted the case, said on March 28 defendants Zhai and Zhang assaulted a 16-year-old girl at a Rowland Heights park and restaurant. During the attack, Zhai punched and slapped the victim.

Two days later, Zhai, Zhang and Yang kidnapped an 18-year-old girl from Honeymee in Rowland Heights and took her to Rowland Heights Country Park.

While at the park, the victim was stripped naked and repeatedly beaten, spat on, punched, kicked and burned with cigarettes in an assault that lasted over five hours, according to the prosecutor. Zhang provided scissors to cut the victim’s hair, which she was then forced to eat, the prosecutor added.

After both attacks, the two victims reached out to law enforcement and alerted them about the assaults.

On March 31, 2015, Zhang and Zhai were arrested in connection with the crimes, while Yang was apprehended more than two weeks later.

The case was investigated by the Los Angeles County Sheriff’s Department.