A gang leader who is accused of raping a 13-year-old girl on four occasions testified on Tuesday (23 January) he was being set up by the alleged victim and a fellow gang member over a sexually explicit photo that was circulated.
Koh Rong Guang, 25, also claimed that the girl was promiscuous and had slept with two of his friends, when he took the stand during his trial at the High Court.
Koh is claiming trial to 12 charges including four counts of statutory rape, one count of forcing the girl to perform oral sex on him, and two counts of criminal intimidation, all of which allegedly took place between 2013 and 2014.
Of the rape incidents, two of them allegedly took place at a staircase at K Box at Choa Chu Kang Centre, while the other two happened at a staircase of an HDB block at Choa Chu Kang Crescent. One of the alleged incidents was witnessed by other gang members.
During his testimony, Koh said he became acquainted with the girl when he was introduced to her by his friend and fellow gang member, Fu Yiming. At that time, Koh said Fu was a close friend who was interested in the girl. Koh also described the alleged victim as a promiscuous girl who “wants attention” and had sex with two of his friends on multiple occasions.
Koh is also accused of taking sexually explicit photographs of the girl and Fu, who was then 16. He then allegedly made a collage of the photos, including a close-up of the girl’s face and sent the photos to a friend to post on Facebook.
When asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo about the photos, Koh said Fu instructed the girl to say that Koh had raped her. The girl was “angry” with him for circulating the photos, Koh claimed.
DPP Khoo pointed out, however, that if the girl wanted to get Koh in trouble, she would just have to highlight one rape incident. Instead, she told the police about four alleged rape incidents, DPP Khoo said. Koh replied, “She wants to make sure I get into trouble. It doesn’t matter if it was seven times or 100 times. I did not touch her.”
On 25 January 2014, when one of the rape incidents allegedly happened at the staircase in Choa Chu Kang Crescent, Koh claimed that he had arranged to meet with Fu and the girl at a block of flats because he wanted to confront her over some rumours.
Koh told the court that Fu concocted a plan to intervene during the confrontation to appear like a “hero” to the girl so that she would become his girlfriend. When Fu and the girl arrived, they left Koh alone for 20 minutes in order to speak privately, the accused said.
Fu later sent Koh the sexually explicit photos taken with the girl and asked him to delete the photos after viewing them, Koh said, adding that he kept the photos to have something “to hold against” Fu. Koh also said that he circulated the photos after he fell out with Fu.
When asked by the DPP why he included the photo of the girl if he was unhappy with Fu, Koh replied, “One stone kill two birds. Shame together. I just don’t like her.”
A series of WhatsApp messages that were exchanged between Koh and Fu were read out in court. In one WhatsApp exchange, Fu wrote, “Are you going to f*** her?”, to which Koh replied, “I say clear first. Whatever I do to her you cannot interrupt.”
Referring to the WhatsApp messages, DPP Khoo pointed out to Koh that he regarded the victim as his “sex toy” and that “nobody else should touch her”. Koh replied that he did not have such thoughts about her.
A witness who was a former member of Koh’s gang took the stand earlier on the same day. The 20-year-old man, who cannot be named, testified that he saw Koh committing one of the alleged rapes at a staircase in Choa Chu Kang. Koh would “boast” about having sex with the girl and showed him a photo of her naked, he added.
The witness also disagreed with Koh’s claim that the accused was not with the rest of the group on the day of the incident, adding that he did not report it to the police because he and his friends were scared of Koh. He also said that Koh had warned him not to tell anyone what he saw.
If convicted for committing statutory rape, Koh faces a jail term of up to 20 years, and caning or a fine.