A case involving 15 people accused of multiple gang-related crimes as well as rape continued in a Shandong provincial court on April 13.
The Dongchangfu District People's Court in Liaocheng began hearing the case on Thursday, and said that the trial was ongoing due to complicated facts and numerous people involved.
The gang members, led by Wu Xuezhan, face nine charges, including organizing and participating in gang crimes, transaction by force, illegal home invasion, illegal detention, intentional injury and rape, prosecutors said.
Since 2010, Wu, 35, has organized the other defendants - some of whom were employees in his two registered real estate companies in Guanxian county - to conduct gang-related offenses, such as violently collecting debts and illegal detention, according to prosecutors.
"The gang also influenced government officials and law enforcement officials through threats, destroyed private cars, forced banks not to issue loans and interfered in other companies' operations," the prosecutors added.
The gang drew public attention in March last year when Yu Huan, a 22-year-old man, injured some of the gangsters after he and his mother were beaten and insulted.
Yu was sentenced to life imprisonment for intentional injury by the Liaocheng Intermediate People's Court in February 2017 after he stabbed four gangsters, who were also debt collectors. One of them, Du Zhihao, died after being hospitalized.
Yu appealed to a higher court because he said he and his mother Su Yinxia were confronted by the debt collectors and he was protecting his mother and himself in self-defense.
In June, the Shandong High People's Court cut Yu's life sentence to five years in prison for intentional injury.
The lawyer for Yu and Su said they accused the 12 defendants in the gang of organizing and taking part in gang-related offenses, illegal home invasion and illegal detention.
Yu Xiurong, Yu Huan's aunt, told China Youth Daily that they requested the court to heavily punish the gangsters, hoping the gang would publicly apologize to the family and compensate their mental anguish.