SINGAPORE — Three men were convicted of gang-raping a girl in a hotel on Tuesday (23 April) after the High Court ruled that the girl was too intoxicated to have given her consent.
Ridhaudin Ridhwan Bakri, a 25-year-old dispatch driver, was found guilty of one count each of sexual assault by digital penetration, rape and molest.
Muhammad Faris Ramlee, a 25-year-old driver, was convicted of one count of rape and acquitted of one count of sexual assault by penetration.
Asep Ardiansyah, 25, who is unemployed, was found guilty of sexual assault by penetrating the girl and attempted rape.
The three were part of a gang of five who preyed on an 18-year-old girl on 26 January 2014 at Duxton Hotel.
Woman was incapacitated
In finding Faris and Ridhaudin guilty of rape, Justice Woo Bih Li said that the testimonies of the other witnesses suggested that the woman was physically weak and close to unconscious at the time of her rape.
Two police statements that Faris himself gave also testified to the girl’s intoxication, according to the judge.
In one statement, Faris admitted he had sex with the woman even though she did not consent as he was “just feeling horny and wanted to have sex” observed the judge.
“I find that the complainant (victim) did not have the capacity to consent to sexual intercourse at the material time, and even if she could have consented, she did not in fact consent,” said Justice Woo.
The judge pointed out that Asep had also testified to the woman’s deeply intoxicated state in his statement to the police.
Asep’s claim that the girl was severely intoxicated before and after the sexual acts and yet had regained sobriety during the period of sexual activity was “self-serving and simply incredible”, the judge said.
The judge also dismissed Asep's argument that the woman's willingness to meet him after the sexual acts was irrational and not consistent with her account of trauma. The court is mindful of the risks of presuming how a victim of sexual abuse would act after an offence is committed, the judge added.
On acquitting Faris from the sexual assault by digital penetration charge, Justice Woo said it was unclear who had committed the act and whether there had been digital penetration.
Two others who were involved in the rape, Muhammad Fadly Abdull Wahab and Muhammad Hazly Mohamad Halimi, pleaded guilty to their charges on 29 July 2016.
Fadly, 20, was sentenced to 13 years in jail and eight strokes of the cane, while Hazly was given 11 years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.
The prosecution’s case was that Fadly and Hazly took turns to rape the victim while she was intoxicated and unconscious at about 2.30am on 26 January 2014.
The victim was then left unconscious on the bed. Asep returned to the room at about 3.44 am, followed by Ridhaudin and Faris who came back some 10 minutes later.
Court papers also revealed that Faris and Asep helped the victim to the bathroom as she was vomiting. Asep then left, leaving Faris the bathroom, where he allegedly raped her.
Asep returned 20 minutes later where he allegedly sexually assaulted and attempted to rape the victim.
The woman then found herself back on the bed where she felt Ridhaudin trying to penetrate her from the back.
Although she shook her head from left to right to show she did not consent to this, she was too weak to fight Ridhaudin’s advances. Ridhaudin then continued to assault and rape her.