China jails 19 online swingers over sex orgy club

Image caption,
Ma Yaohai (centre) said he would appeal

A court in the eastern Chinese city of Nanjing has sentenced a college professor to three-and-a-half years in jail for organising a group sex club.

Eighteen other people involved in the online swingers' club received sentences of up to two-and-a-half years while three were acquitted.

Ma Yaohai, 53, said he would appeal against his conviction in a case which sparked a debate on civil liberties

There have been calls for the charge of "group licentiousness" to be scrapped.

Group sex parties were held at Ma's home, the trial heard.

The 22 defendants were accused of engaging in dozens of group sex encounters between 2007 and 2009.

Ma told reporters earlier that his club, which grew to have 190 members, had consisted of consenting adults who "disturbed no- one".

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