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16 years' jail, 14 strokes of cane for man, 21, involved in gang rape of drunk teen, sexual assault of 3 other teens

16 years' jail, 14 strokes of cane for man, 21, involved in gang rape of drunk teen, sexual assault of 3 other teens

Source: TODAY
Article Date: 14 May 2024
Author: Loraine Lee

The judge rejected the defence's plea for leniency, saying the sentence has to reflect society's abhorrence at the offences.

  • A 21-year-old was sentenced to 16 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault, three counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years old and one count of rape
  • He had committed the offences when he was 17 and 18 years old
  • In one instance, his acts impregnated a 14-year-old, who had to take a break from secondary school to give birth
  • The judge rejected the defence's plea for leniency, saying the sentence has to reflect society's abhorrence at the offences

Instead of taking care of a drunk 16-year-old as promised, a man sexually assaulted her during a gang rape.

He also had sex with two girls aged 14 and 15 without protection in 2020 and 2021, impregnating one of them. He raped a 13-year-old as well.

On Monday (May 13), the offender, now 21, was sentenced by the High Court to 16 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane.

His sentence was backdated to June 15, 2021 when he was first remanded.

He pleaded guilty to one count of sexual assault, three counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years old and one count of rape.

Twelve other charges related to sexual offences were taken into consideration during the sentencing.

In total, there were eight victims — all of whom cannot be named due to a court order protecting their identities. Some of his offences were committed while he was on bail.

The offender cannot be named because the Children and Young Persons Act restricts the publication of young persons involved in court proceedings who are under the age of 18. He had committed the offences when he was 17 and 18 years old.

VICTIM A

The court heard that on June 12, 2021, the man, who was then 18 years old, went out drinking with two friends and met victim A, a 16-year-old secondary school student.

With four other people, they drank at Admiralty Park. The man then called three of his friends to join them for drinks.

His friend Noor Asri Mohd Tahil — a co-accused who was 33 years old at the time — suggested the group continue drinking at his home after the victim was drunk.

Although she declined, she was taken to his home with the rest of the group.

At Asri's home, Asri allegedly forced the victim to drink more. Due to her intoxication, she could not speak coherently and spilled drinks on herself.

At one point, she called another friend to pick her up from the place, while two of the female friends accompanying her left.

The friends asked the offender to take care of her before they left. He agreed.

Instead of doing so, the man allegedly followed Asri's alleged instructions to take her to his bedroom so that the man, Asri and the third co-accused Muhammad Uzair Abdul Rahman, then 18 years old, could sexually abuse her.

In October last year, Uzair was sentenced to 16 years' jail and 20 strokes of the cane for his offence.

TODAY has asked the Attorney-General's Chambers about the status of the case against Asri.

Although the victim told him that she did not want to go into Asri's bedroom and pushed the accused away, he took her to the room.

There, he sexually assaulted the victim before Uzair and Asri allegedly raped her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lim Ying Min said that the victim drifted in and out of consciousness throughout the sexual assault, and felt that she was being "passed around" by several men.

The ordeal ended when the victim's friends arrived to pick her up. A confrontation ensued between her friends and the men, which escalated until a passer-by called the police in the early hours of June 13, 2021.

Following the incident, the victim was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder in January 2022.

At the time the offender committed this offence, he was on bail over other sexual offences.

VICTIM B

The man met victim B, a 14-year-old secondary school student, through Instagram sometime in February 2020. 

She knew him as her best friend's ex-boyfriend.

After exchanging mobile phone numbers, they texted each other and met up on Feb 24, 2020 around Chua Chu Kang.

He then took her to a staircase landing in Yew Tee to talk, before touching her and asking if she wanted to have sex with him.

Although she rejected him because she was scared, she eventually relented, DPP Lim said.

After they had sex, they both went for dinner before having sex twice more — once at a car park that same day, and once at his cousin's house the next day.

He did not use a condom on all three occasions.

His actions came to light in June 2020 when victim B's mother made her take a pregnancy test, which turned out positive.

As a result, the teenager had to take a break from her Secondary 3 studies. She gave birth around November 2020.

VICTIMS C AND D

Victim C is a 13-year-old whom he dated between Jan 24 and Feb 10, 2020.

Victim C and victim B were also friends, the court heard.

Sometime on March 19, 2020, the two victims met the man at the void deck of Block 17 Marsiling Lane. While victim B left to buy drinks, the man took victim C to his home.

There, he pestered her to have sex with him, before raping her in his bedroom.

Victim D is a 15-year-old secondary student whom the man met sometime in 2019 through Instagram and started dating.

On May 22, 2020, the duo were chatting at the staircase landing of Block 5 Marsiling Drive when the man started touching her.

He then asked her to remove her school uniform and she knew that he wanted to have sex with her. Although she did not want to, she did not resist because she did not know what to do.

He then had sex with her.

Wanting to talk to the man about the incident, she arranged to meet him on May 26, 2020 at the staircase landing of another housing estate along Marsiling Drive.

However, before she could speak, the man began removing her clothes and touching her. Although she said no, he had sex with her.

She then broke up with him a few days later.

Sometime in June 2020, her school learnt of the incident and informed the victim's parents. She then made a police report.

'REPREHENSIBLE BEHAVIOUR'

The prosecution sought a sentence of 12 to 14 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane.

DPP Lim told the court that the man had been given a stern warning by the police and was on station bail when he sexually assaulted victim A.

"This shows the persistence of his criminal tendencies and indicates that even with the passage of time, there has been no evidence of reflection or remorse," the prosecution said.

The man's lawyer, Ms Charmaine Neo of Forte Law LLC, sought a sentence of four years and four months' jail and six strokes of the cane.

During the plea for leniency, she said that the man had been "barely out of puberty" at the time of the crimes.

However, as she asked the court to consider probation as a sentence, Justice Aedit Abdullah interjected and said that he would not consider probation.

In his short oral judgement to explain the sentence, Justice Abdullah said that the sentence must reflect the state's "abhorrence for such crimes".

"So many instances, so many victims and you continued preying on these young victims despite being on bail," he said.

"Your reprehensible behaviour warrants such a sentence."

For sexual assault, the young man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned.

For sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years old, he could have been jailed for up to 10 years or fined, or both.

For rape, he could have faced up to 20 years' jail and a fine or caning.

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