Jail and caning for man who raped cousin while under investigation for raping ex-girlfriend

Wan Ting Koh
Sad young woman sit in her room and covering her face
PHOTO: Getty Images

SINGAPORE — A 20-year-old man who raped an ex-girlfriend and his cousin a year apart was sentenced to six years, nine months and two weeks’ jail on Thursday (3 October).

The full time national serviceman was also given six strokes of the cane.

In sentencing the man, District Judge Eddy Tham noted that he was unremorseful for his actions and perpetrated the same act on a younger victim despite being under investigation for rape. The man, who was then 17, raped his ex-girlfriend in November 2015 and his cousin in October 2016. He pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one unrelated charge of affray.

“What is really egregious is that the accused see fits to repeat a heinous crime one year later after he has turned 18, this time against an even younger victim, who was only 16.”

He was not averse to committing the same act on another victim, the judge noted.

While the man was young and had pleaded guilty, these mitigating factors “pale in comparison to the harm caused to two very young victims”, said DJ Tham, who added that the deterrent effect of a reformative training sentence would be “glaringly inadequate”.

In reformative training, an offender undergoes a comprehensive rehabilitation programme within a reformative training centre for up to three years. It results in a criminal record.

Earlier on Thursday, the man’s lawyer Wee Pan Lee asked for reformative training, a rehabilitative sentencing option which is given to offenders under the age of 21, but above the age of 14. The man turns 21 in three days as his birthday falls on 6 October.

Wee said that his client had a high capacity for rehabilitation and that a prison environment would have a corrupting influence on him.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mansoor Amir sought a jail term of at least seven years and six strokes, stating that the offence of rape was “inherently serious and heinous”.

“It is also clear that the accused is unremorseful and recalcitrant,” said DPP Mansoor. After the first rape, he had told his friends and family outside the room that he had raped the first victim. He then committed the second rape while on bail for the first incident.

“He even told the second victim not to make a police report about the second rape because he was being investigated for the first rape,” he added.

Wee said that his client will be appealing the sentence. His client has been placed on $20,000 bail pending the appeal.

The first offence

The first victim, then 17 years old, was the man’s ex-girlfriend from the same secondary school. They dated and were intimate while in secondary 3 and 4.

The couple broke up in February 2015 but had sex twice in March and September that year.

On 15 November 2015, the man, also 17, offered to send the victim home from a coffeeshop at about 10pm. She accepted his offer and followed him to his flat for his electrical bicycle. At the flat, the victim saw the culprit’s father, grandmother and younger sister who were having dinner in the living room. She greeted the elders.

While chatting on a bed in a room, the man molested the girl and climbed on top of her. She struggled and tried to push him away. He also ignored her pleas for him to stop.

While struggling during the rape, the victim fell from the bed. The man dragged her back up by her hands and continued his act. He told the girl he wanted her to have his baby.

Afterwards, the victim wanted to go home but the perpetrator made her kneel in front of him. A scuffle broke out, and the victim screamed. She sustained a bruise on her head.

The man’s grandmother heard the commotion. The man’s father used a spare key to open the bedroom door and saw the victim lying on the floor.

Shortly after, the perpetrator’s friends came by the flat. They saw the victim seated on the floor crying and asked him what had happened. The man replied that the victim was arrogant and that he had raped her.

When the man’s mother came home, she asked the victim what happened. But the victim did not answer and kept crying. The mother then said that if the girl and her son could not be friends, they should not be friends.

When the victim wanted to go home later, the perpetrator told her that he would let her return at 7am. But he eventually relented to her pleas. She left by herself at about 11.30pm.

The victim met her mother and made a police report soon after, at about 2am the next morning.

A second victim

While on bail, the man raped a distant cousin, who was 16 years old at the time. The two had known each other since childhood and met at family events.

In early October 2016, the victim posted on multimedia messaging app Snapchat that she had a boyfriend. The man then chatted with her, and the two discussed their sexual experiences.

At the man’s request, the girl met him on 13 October 2016 at his family’s second flat. She only realised they were alone when she arrived at about 8.30pm.

After chatting in the living room, the two went to the master bedroom as the man was afraid that they would be disturbing his neighbours.

He then forced himself on her while in the bedroom. The girl reminded him that she had a boyfriend and that they were cousins. But he told her that he did not care.

After the act, the man held the girl back when she wanted to leave. He told her not to make a police report as he was under investigation for another rape case involving his ex-girlfriend. The victim promised not to make a police report as she was anxious to leave. The man also made her delete their text messages.

The man called his mother, who later came to the flat and helped the girl hail a taxi. The victim made a police report later that day.

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