SINGAPORE — An army regular who raped a former secondary school classmate, and molested another while on bail, was jailed for 14 years and given 15 strokes of the cane on Tuesday (3 August).
The 24-year-old man, then a regular with the Singapore Armed Forces, had also preyed on schoolgirls, asking a 10-year-old girl he met on Tinder for a nude photo and sexually assaulting another 15-year-old after bringing her to the cinema.
He had earlier pleaded guilty to one count each of rape, molest, and procuring an indecent act by a child, with one charge each of molest, sexually penetration of a minor and sexual assault by penetration taken into consideration for his sentencing.
Passing the sentence, Justice Aedit Abdullah noted that although the man had pleaded guilty, any sentencing discount he would have been given was offset by the fact that he had committed an offence while on bail. "The basis is simply that if he were truly remorseful, he would not have committed further offences," said the judge, adding that there was a "strong degree of incorrigibility (that had) to be deterred and punished".
The judge also gave the man's youth little weight, as he was not so young that great leniency ought to be shown. Justice Abdullah also said that in cases of a serious nature, such as when violence or a violation of a person is involved, youth cannot be a strong point.
As for the victims, Justice Abdullah noted the harm they suffered and hoped that they would be able to repair their lives and put the ordeal behind them.
On the youngest victim's use of Tinder, Justice Abdullah said, "I have no doubt that there will be general consternation that the victim ... was able to access a dating app, which would have been meant for adults or at least a much older teen."
"The circumstances of her use of this app are not before me, but I again would trust that the matter is being looked into now, if it has not been before, by the relevant agencies and technology companies involved."
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of his four victims. According to a Ministry of Defence spokesperson, the SAF discharged the man from service following the conclusion of his court case.
Ex-secondary schoolmate who trusted him
The victim he raped was a 24-year-old woman who was his secondary schoolmate. They remained good friends after graduating and the woman trusted him to take care of her when she was drunk during their drinking sessions.
On 10 June 2018, at around 8.30pm, the pair met for drinks at Level Up bar. They ordered a free flow of alcohol, with the woman consuming five to six shots of tequila, half a cup of whiskey with coke, a cup of mixed rum, and a pint of beer. A male friend of the accused joined them partway.
As the woman became increasingly intoxicated, she fell and knocked her head on a pool table before vomiting and fainting. The two men helped the woman out of the bar after midnight.
The accused then told his friend that he would take the woman home as she had told him that her parents would be upset at her intoxicated state. The trio took a Grab to the accused man's home, where the friend helped deposit the drunk woman on the accused man’s bed before leaving.
After showering, the man became sexually aroused and sexually assaulted the incapacitated woman before raping her without a condom. He slept for a while before waking the woman to give her glass of water. The woman noticed that her blouse was tucked out and that the accused was only in his boxer shorts.
As the woman showered at home later that day, she felt pain in her vagina and noticed she was bleeding. She confronted the man via text and he replied only that he sexually assaulted her. He came clean later that day about raping her.
Shocked and feeling betrayed, the woman visited a nearby clinic on 11 June 2018 and was referred to KK Women’s and Children’s Hospital. However, she was told to lodge a police report before undergoing a medical examination.
The woman then headed to Kampong Java Neighbourhood Police Centre the next day at 12.03am to lodge a police report. She was found by a doctor to have a tear in her hymen. She also tested positive for a vaginal infection, and a sexually transmitted infection which the man also had.
Offended again while on bail
After the man was charged for this offence however, he molested another woman, 24, also an ex-secondary schoolmate. He was out on bail at the time. He had offered to meet up with her to talk about her problems with her boyfriend.
They met on 15 September 2018 around midnight and shared 3L of beer at Club Vivaa. He began molesting the woman who pushed his hand away and told him to stop. The man asked the woman to sleep with him in a hotel, and booked a car to a hotel in Geylang, despite the woman’s rejection.
The woman got into a Grab car with him, believing that he was sending her home. When the pair alighted, the man held onto the woman’s bag preventing her from escaping. After he assured her he would not do anything to her, the woman followed him into the hotel room.
While the two were alone, he molested the woman, despite her struggles. The man only stopped after realising his attempts to have sex with her were futile, and went to sleep. The woman then grabbed her bag and fled.
Used Tinder to talk to schoolgirl
Separately, the man met a girl, then 10, on the dating app Tinder and began having sexual conversations. During a game of truth or dare over a chatting app in June 2019, the man dared the girl to send him a nude photograph. The girl obliged with a picture of her right breast. The photo was set to be deleted within 10 seconds.
The man has since admitted to having a fetish for young girls. He would search for pornography involving primary school girls and minors in China.
When the man’s phone was seized during police investigations, the authorities uncovered the offence involving a 15-year-old girl that he met on Facebook. He had brought the girl to watch a movie in 2015 and sexually penetrated her while at the cinema.
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