BEIJING (AP) - A school principal and a government worker in China have been detained on suspicion of inappropriate liaisons with six girls under age 14 after the two men took them to separate hotels and spent a night with them, state media and a local government official said on Tuesday.
The girls - all friends in the city of Wanning in the southern province of Hainan - were first found absent from class on the afternoon of May 8, prompting a search by teachers, parents and police before they were located over the following two days, the official Xinhua News Agency said.
Four of the girls spent the night of May 8 in a local hotel with a school principal, who has since been fired, Xinhua said.
One of the girls told police that the man - identified only by the surname Chen - had been intimate with her.
Xinhua did not provide further details of the inappropriate behavior, though the report cited Wanning police as saying medical checks had been performed on the girls and that no sexual intercourse had taken place.
It said a government worker in Wanning - identified only as Feng - took the two other schoolgirls to another hotel the same night, but that the girls denied he acted inappropriately.
A Wanning city official, who gave only her surname Zhuo - as is customary with low-ranking Chinese bureaucrats - said that the man is a clerk at the local housing administration bureau.
She said that provincial authorities were planning further medical exams for the girls.
The two men did not know each other, and it was not immediately clear whether any of the girls - who attended at least two separate schools - were students where the principal worked.