A maid who could not repay a $1,000 loan that she received from her employer’s father-in-law agreed to have sex with him to pay it off.
Later, Dina Melina tried to extort money from the father-in-law, Abu Bakar Bin Along, by impersonating Abu Bakar’s daughter-in-law and threatening to expose the sexual relationship between him and the maid.
When that failed, Melina, a 32-year-old Indonesian, lodged a police report on two separate occasions, alleging that Abu Bakar, a 70-year-old Singaporean, had raped her in one report and that he touched her body from behind without her consent in another.
Melina was on Tuesday (13 February) charged with one count of giving false information to a public servant on 8 June last year. She lied to a police officer that Abu Bakar had raped her, causing the officer to investigate the allegation.
Another count of giving false information to another police officer will be taken into consideration for sentencing. In this report, Melina alleged that Abu Bakar had grabbed and squeezed her breast.
The court heard that the two first met between 2011 and 2012 at the Indonesian embassy. Melina accepted Abu Bakar’s daughter-in-law’s invitation to work at her residence as a maid and began her job in late 2013.
Abu Bakar did not stay at the residence but visited his daughter-in-law every three to four months, and would talk to Melina.
In December 2016, Melina asked Abu Bakar for a loan and the latter gave her $1,000. However, Melina was unable to pay the loan and told Abu Bakar so in February or March the next year.
She then asked Abu Bakar if there was anything else he wanted in return. Abu Bakar asked to have sex with Melina, and she agreed. The two had sexual intercourse at the residence in April last year.
At the time, Melina had the impression that she was being underpaid by Abu Bakar’s daughter-in-law, who was her employer. She decided to ask Abu Bakar for more money to make up for the perceived underpayment of her salary.
She told Abu Bakar that she developed pain in her vagina after the sexual encounter in April and lied that the medical examination cost $3,000. As a result, Abu Bakar lent the maid $1,000 for the sham examination.
When Melina was unable to return this sum of money as well, Abu Bakar asked to touch her breast in return and Melina let him do so on 4 May 2017.
Seeking more money, Melina impersonated her employer, Abu Bakar’s daughter-in-law, to send Abu Bakar text messages claiming that his daughter-in-law had discovered the sexual relationship between the two. Pretending to be the daughter-in-law, Melina threatened to disseminate the information unless Abu Bakar delivered $3,000 to Melina.
However, Abu Bakar saw through the ruse and refused to give any money.
Unhappy at her failed extortion attempt, Melina lodged the police reports to teach her employer, who she deemed had underpaid her, and Abu Bakar, a lesson, said the prosecution.
As a result of Melina’s reports, the police recorded six statements from Melina from June to November 2017 and two statements from Abu Bakar in July the same year. The police also seized Melina’s phone for the purposes of forensic examination.
Both Melina and Abu Bakar also underwent a polygraph test – which is used to detect lies – on 19 September 2017. Melina admitted to her false report after the results of her polygraph test were released.
The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong, asked for no less than three months’ jail for Melina, whom he said was “motivated by menace”. He pointed out that the maid’s actions were premeditated as she had gone to a Neighbourhood Police Centre to file the report.
In mitigation, Melina, who was unrepresented, said through an interpreter that she regretted her actions and asked for leniency. She is expected to be sentenced on Wednesday.
For giving false information to a public servant, Melina faces a jail term of up to a year and/or a maximum fine of $5,000 on each count.