While the U.S. consulate may be able to work something out with the Chinese government, the three young men apparently shouldn’t count on that. The trio was arrested after shoplifting from a Louis Vuitton store near UCLA’s team hotel outside of Shanghai. The Bruins face Georgia Tech in their season opener in China on Saturday.
Along with facing a long prison sentence, Ball, Riley and Hill could reportedly be detained for more than a month before prosecutors even decide whether or not to press charges.
William Nee, a Hong Kong-based researcher of the Chinese court system for Amnesty International, claims it is not unusual for a defendant to wait 30 to 37 days before officially being indicted. According to Nee’s research, among those indicted, Chinese prosecutors enjoy a conviction rate of 99.2 percent.
Chinese law requires a fine and between three to 10 years in prison if someone is convicted of “robbing public or private property using force, coercion or other methods.
Nee told Yahoo! Sports’ Dan Wetzel that Ball and his teammates could be in some serious trouble if the authorities have solid proof they stole something.
I truly can’t believe how stupid these three are if they actually did steal from a store in China. On my list of 10 things to never do, “Get arrested in China” is like No. 2.
The trio should probably start brushing up on a few movies like “Midnight Express,” “Brokedown Palace” and “Return to Paradise.”