Man jailed for sexually assaulting inebriated, 'defenceless' female friend

A woman with her face in her hands. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A woman with her face in her hands. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man saw his girlfriend’s female friend lying inebriated on a bed, and felt the urge to “do something to her” her as she appeared defenceless.

Kee Zhen Yuan, 24, proceeded to sexually assault the woman while his girlfriend was in the toilet.

He was jailed for six years and nine months on Friday (15 October) after pleading guilty to one charge of sexual assault by digital penetration, with one count of molest considered for his sentencing.

He was also sentenced to four strokes of the cane. The victim cannot be named due to a gag order.

Celebrating victim's birthday, group drank well past midnight

On 22 August last year, Kee, his girlfriend, and two of her female friends - which included the victim - went to Hotel Supreme to celebrate the victim’s birthday. The group drank well past midnight.

Kee’s girlfriend and the other woman went to the toilet, while the victim lay on a bed with a blanket partially covering her. According to the prosecution, Kee observed she was defenceless and felt the urge to do something to her.

He asked his girlfriend to close the toilet door, under the pretext that the air-conditioning was not cold enough. He then touched the victim’s cheek, her breast, and sexually assaulted her through the opening of her shorts.

The victim felt afraid, but did not know what to do or how to resist Kee, as she was impaired by her intoxication.

Victim sought advice before confronting man

A while later, the two women came out from the toilet, and saw Kee standing next to the bed the victim was on. They went to sleep, with Kee and his girlfriend sharing a bed.

When the victim woke in the morning, she went to the toilet with her female friend and confided what Kee had done.

The group later checked out of the hotel and went on their pre-planned trip to the zoo. While the victim did not want to go initially, she obliged as the others wanted to go.

After leaving the zoo in the afternoon, the victim sought another friend’s advice. A meeting was requested with Kee’s girlfriend, who brought Kee along.

Kee apologised to the victim, lying that he had mistaken her for his girlfriend. He had lied as he was afraid that the group might not forgive him.

On 25 August 2020, the victim saw blood in her panties and went to Khoo Teck Phuat Hospital for a check-up. Although the medical examination did not reveal that the blood was related to the sexual assault, the victim was advised to lodge a police report.

The victim did so, and Kee was arrested a day later.

“During the course of the investigations, the accused admitted in his statements to the police to have digitally penetrated the victim. He further admitted that he had the urge to do it to the victim as she was defenceless,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Regina Lim.

Targeted vulnerable victim who trusted him: DPP

DPP Nicholas Wuan sought seven to eight years’ jail along with four strokes of the cane.

He pointed out that Kee had targeted a vulnerable victim due to her state of intoxication, and that the victim had stayed in the same room as him even after her two female friends had left for the toilet, hence showing a level of trust.

Kee’s lawyer Joshua Tong said that his client’s offending conduct was fleeting, as it had lasted two seconds. Kee then stopped as he felt bad.

Tong then said that there was limited or no breach of trust in Kee’s case, as he was not in a position of responsibility, such as in a doctor-patient or familial relationship.

Tong described his client as “young and immature”, although his parents and girlfriend had submitted letters and testimonials to the court attesting to his responsibility and kind-heartedness to others. Kee had sacrificed his chance for education in order to earn money for his brother to go to university.

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