China indicts official in sex tape with corruption

AP News
Posted: May 03, 2013 7:37 AM

BEIJING (AP) — Chinese prosecutors have filed corruption charges against a former city official at the center of a sex tape scandal in which developers allegedly hired women to sleep with officials then extort money or favors from them.

The official Xinhua News Agency reported Friday that prosecutors have indicted Lei Zhengfu, formerly Communist Party chief of a district in the southwestern megacity of Chongqing, for accepting bribes. The report did not provide details of the charges.

Lei's was the first, high-profile case to break in November when online video clips of him, in the throes of passion, went viral.

Coming as China's new leadership has vowed to crack down on rampant official corruption, the images of his jowly, pop-eyed face became targets of derision and disgust over government malfeasance.

In January, 10 more officials were fired in relation to the scandal. The officials, who appeared in additional sex videos, were from district- and county-level government or party departments or state-owned enterprises.

The involvement of officials from across various departments exposed the intertwining of sex, money and politics and the often shady ties between real estate developers and local officials.

Reports say a construction company hired women to sleep with Lei and the other officials, secretly videotaped the trysts, then used the tapes to extort construction contracts or other deals from them.

Authorities have also been investigating the developers behind the alleged extortion scheme. On Friday, the People's Daily newspaper said on its official Twitter-like microblog that Chongqing's prosecutors were preparing to file charges of extortion and blackmail against the woman who had been allegedly hired to sleep with Lei.

Calls to the city's prosecutors' office and the Communist Party propaganda department rang unanswered Friday.