An affair between a young girl and her stepfather was the subject of fiction in Nabokov, but a woman in China has found herself at the center of a real-life Lolita story when she received a shocking email from her missing daughter.
Ms. Huang’s daughter had disappeared without a trace about two years before, when she was just 12-years-old, along with her stepfather Liu. This April, Huang suddenly got a mail from the missing girl that read, “I am Liu’s wife now. We’ve already been living together for more than two years and we have a daughter together. Mom, please divorce Liu.”
Huang married her first husband in 1996, and they soon had a child, but when her husband discovered it was not a boy, he left her. At first, Huang decided to raise her daughter as a single mother, but over time, she began to feel that her daughter was suffering from the stigma of coming from a fatherless family. She decided to get remarried for her daughter’s sake, and after meeting Liu through an acquaintance, they wed in February of 2006. It was her hope that the marriage would make her daughter’s life easier, but instead it tore their lives apart.
According to Huang, she remembers finding a love note from her daughter in one of her husband’s pockets back in 2009, at which time the daughter was just 12. The note was quite explicit, but Liu claimed he didn’t know anything about it. Rather than expose the family to scandal, Huang decided not to do anything. Less than a year later, Liu disappeared with her daughter.
After receiving her daughter’s email, Huang agonized over what to do, but seeing no other option, she called in the police. In May of this year, Liu was arrested in Jiangsu, where he had been living with his stepdaughter. Although the stepdaughter herself had no wish to press charges, the fact that she was not yet 14 when they began their sexual relationship meant she was not capable of giving consent and charges of statutory rape went ahead without her cooperation. Liu was convicted and sentenced to 11 years of hard labor, though the case is currently in appeals.