WUHAN, Aug. 29 (Xinhua) -- Police in central Hubei Province have arrested 16 suspects for forcing more than 30 females into prostitution, mostly underage school girls, the latest in a series of sexual assaults on women reported in China this month.
The gang seduced victims primarily via online chat rooms, luring them to the city of Yichang for "dating" before forcing them into prostitution. Victims were aged between 14 and 19, according to police in Xiangyang City.
Thirteen victims have been freed since the start of the investigation in January, when the first case was reported by a high school girl's parents. Four members of the gang are still being hunted down, police said.
The public is on high alert after a spate of sexual assault reports involving young women in recent weeks. Earlier this week, a 22-year-old college student in Shandong was freed after being abducted and held as a sex slave for days by an unlicensed "taxi" driver.