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Tuesday, Aug. 8, 2017 12:31 am

Six-plus years for UIS rapist

Xuesong “Gary” Yang is led away in handcuffs after being sentenced to prison for raping a UIS student.
PHOTO BY BRUCE RUSHTON

 

Xuesong “Gary” Yang, a former University of Springfield Illinois counselor and recruiter who pleaded guilty to raping a student on her 17th birthday, is going to prison.

“Mr. Yang is every parent’s nightmare,” Sangamon County Circuit Court Judge Leslie Graves said before handing down a 6 ½ year sentence this morning. Yang, who pleaded guilty to aggravated criminal sexual abuse and obstruction of justice in June, will be eligible for release after serving half of the sentence, presuming he behaves himself in prison. Seven years was the maximum sentence.

Yang pleaded guilty after DNA testing confirmed the victim’s account that he had raped her in his downtown Springfield office last August, ejaculating on her stomach and wiping away evidence with a tissue paper. Yang, who recruited students from China for UIS, raped the woman just one day after she arrived in the United States to study English at the university. After the rape, UIS students from China said that Yang held power over them, telling them that he had the authority to change grades and send them home. In a videotaped statement played in the courtroom, the victim said that she felt alone after she was assaulted.

“When I came to the United States, I don’t have any people,” the victim said. “I don’t have any friends at UIS. I just come here alone. When this thing happen, I feel very upset. No one can help me.”

Yang picked the victim up at the airport in Chicago when she arrived from China. The next day, he drove her from campus to his office in downtown Springfield, where he ordered her to drink wine against her will, then raped her. He raped her a second time a week later, also in his downtown office. The victim told someone in her dorm what had happened after the second rape, and Yang was arrested at the conclusion of questioning by Springfield police. The obstruction of justice charge stems from Yang attempting to scratch marks from his chest when left alone in the police interview room, which was under video surveillance. The victim had told officers that she had bitten Yang while she was being assaulted.

The victim returned to China in June. In the videotaped statement, she said that she intends to return to the U.S. to go to college, but because of the rape, she doesn’t feel comfortable going back to UIS or Springfield.

The woman said that she worried about Yang’s reach in her home country.

“Maybe he do something to my family, because he still have lots of friends in China,” said the woman, who urged that Yang be sent to prison.

State's attorney John Milhiser said that Yang told his victim that he was a vice chancellor at UIS and that she would fail her courses if she refused to drink wine to the point that she became incapacitated.

"He threatened to send her back to China if she didn't comply," the prosecutor said. "This was a very strong victim who came forward, and good police work, to capture this predator."

Graves ordered Yang taken into immediate custody.

"The power that he held over her is probably more significant than anyone in this room can imagine, because of her youth and because of her lack of any other human contact -- her being in the country for just a number of days," the judge said. "He used that power over her to change her life in the most awful way he could. He changed her life forever."

Yang, who looked down and held his face in his hands through much of the hearing, apologized through tears during a statement to the court. Other than apologizing to the victim and her father, neither of whom was present, he barely mentioned the woman whom he’d raped.

“I take full accountability for the offense I committed,” Yang said. “I let my friends down, both in the United States and China. … I betrayed their trust and love. I’m sorry.”

Contact Bruce Rushton at brushton@illinoistimes.com.

 

 

 


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