Hotel gang rape: Co-accused said victim made first move to initiate sex

Hannah Teoh
Senior Content Producer
Singapore’s Supreme Court. (PHOTO: Yahoo News Singapore)

A man accused of participating in a gang rape in a hotel room has claimed that the victim made the first move by unzipping his pants before they had consensual sex.

Muhammad Faris Ramlee was testifying at a joint trial along with Ridhaudin Ridhwan Bakri and Asep Ardiansyah, all 24, in the High Court before Justice Woo Bih Li on Friday (22 September).

Faris and Ridhaudin are accused of raping the 18-year-old victim, who cannot be named due to a gag order, in Duxton Hotel in 2014 when she was drunk while Asep is accused of attempted rape.

Faris and Ridhaudin each faces one charge of rape and one charge of sexual assault by penetration, while Ridhaudin also faces one charge of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of his victim. Asep faces one charge of attempted rape and another charge of sexual assault by penetration.

The trio was part of a group who attended a birthday party on 25 January 2014 in a room at the hotel. Two other accused – Muhammad Fadly Abdull Wahab, 20, and Muhammad Hazly Mohamad Halimi, 23 – plied the victim with alcohol and raped her while she was intoxicated and unconscious in the room.

Faris, Ridhaudin and Asep were accused of committing the offences a few hours after Fadly and Hazly had raped the teenager. Fadly was sentenced to 13 years’ jail and given eight strokes of the cane while Hazly was jailed 11 years and given six strokes of the cane on 29 July last year after they pleaded guilty to raping the victim.

On Friday, Faris told the court that it was the victim who approached him when he went to use the toilet in the hotel room. After the group had had some alcoholic drinks in the hotel, Faris, Ridhaudin and Asep went to Zouk at about 1am on 26 January 2014. Fadly and Hazly stayed behind with the victim at the hotel. The trio returned to the hotel at around 4am.

According to Faris, he went to the toilet in the hotel room and saw the victim seated inside the bathtub. He told the victim he wanted to urinate, and turned towards the toilet bowl. Faris said that when he wanted to leave the toilet, the victim got up from the bathtub on her own, walked towards him and leaned on him. Faris said that he then fell backwards and hit the door, causing it to close.

When he asked the victim in Malay, ‘Are you for real?’, she responded with ‘Mmmm’, Faris said. She then unbuttoned and unzipped his pants and pulled them down to his knee level, then raised her right leg on the toilet bowl and they proceeded to have sex, he added.

“After the unbuttoning, that’s when I thought she consented to have sex with me,” said Faris, adding that they had sex three times in the bathroom. Prior to the birthday party, Faris said he did not know the victim.

Dr Guo Song, a senior consultant at the Institute of Mental Health who prepared the medical examination of the victim, told the court on Wednesday that the victim had a high blood alcohol content level, indicating it would have “severe impairment” on her actions.

The hearing continues on Monday (25 September).