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Temporary rape

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临时性强奸 (línshíxìng qiángjiān): temporary rape

Paper reads, “temporary rape.”
The two police officers carry a sign reading, “temporary.” The person on the right is saying, “Can I temporarily throw this brick at you?”

This phrase comes from the case of two police officers in Nanxun, Zhejiang Province, who raped a teenage girl while she was drunk and unconscious in October of 2009. While technically classifiable as gang rape (轮奸), a charge that would usually yield a penalty of at least ten years in prison, the officers were only sentenced to three years. In explaining the lenient sentence, the court decided that the crime was “temporary and done on a whim” (临时性的即意犯罪). While the word temporary (临时) can also mean “occurring just before something happens” (临到事情发生时)—a possible reference to the fact that the rape may not have been premeditated—it more often carries meaning closer to the English word “temporary.” The court's choice of wording and the light sentence drew the ire of netizens. For example, the Hudong Encyclopedia article on the phrase states:

You can search the web over and you will not find the phrase “temporary crime on a whim.” “Temporary” is an action taken that is informal and lasts for a short period of time. How can it be that rape can be informal as opposed to formal, or that it is divided based on duration? “Temporary crime on a whim” must be a new word, perhaps creatively fulfilling some unmet need of the judiciary.


After popular outcry, the two police officers were retried and both received eleven year sentences. The court's remarks also inspired netizens to add a new animal to the pantheon of mythical creatures: the scale-corpse ape (鳞尸猩), whose name is homophonic for “temporarily” (临时性) in Mandarin.

The “scale-corpse ape.”

This case became a hotly discussed subject on the Internet, and imitations of the phrase began to appear. For example:

临时性打死人: temporarily beating someone to death

临时性被自杀: temporarily suicided

临时性行贿受贿: temporarily bribe (someone)

临时性醉驾: temporarily driving drunk

临时性抢劫: temporarily stealing