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Man with erectile dysfunction jailed 12.5 years for sexually abusing domestic worker repeatedly

SINGAPORE — An unemployed man sexually assaulted his family’s domestic worker repeatedly within a month and bought condoms to have sex with her but stopped short of doing so, as he suffered from erectile dysfunction.

Man with erectile dysfunction jailed 12.5 years for sexually abusing domestic worker repeatedly

The victim, 27, who was working in Singapore for the first time, began working for the man's household in May 2019. She primarily helped out with chores and cared for the man’s granddaughter when the girl’s parents dropped her off at the flat.

  • The man, then 66, targeted the maid shortly after she began working for his family in 2019
  • He bought condoms to have sex with her but failed due to his erectile dysfunction
  • He then sexually assaulted and molested her several times
  • She managed to film part of one incident and sent it to the Centre for Domestic Employees

 

SINGAPORE — An unemployed man sexually assaulted his family’s domestic worker repeatedly within a month and bought condoms to have sex with her but stopped short of doing so, as he suffered from erectile dysfunction.

The victim took her friend’s advice to secretly film one of the assaults.

She managed to do so and sent the video to the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), which lodged a police report on her behalf.

The Singaporean man, now aged 68, was sentenced to 12.5 years’ jail in the High Court on Monday (Oct 18).

He pleaded guilty to one charge each of attempted rape and sexual assault by penetration. Six other similar charges, including molestation, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

He cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect the victim’s identity.

At the time of his offences in 2019, the man lived with his wife in a public housing flat in the northern region of Singapore.

The victim, now aged 27 from Indonesia, began working for his household in May 2019.

It was her first time working here and she primarily helped out with chores and cared for the man’s granddaughter when the girl’s parents dropped her off at the flat.

Court documents did not state how old the granddaughter was at the time of the incidents and if she was in the flat.  

The victim also helped the man’s daughter, who lived nearby, with chores. She did not get a day off from work and slept on a mattress in one of the three bedrooms.

The man’s wife worked six days a week, which meant that he and the victim were frequently alone at home.

WHAT HAPPENED

Shortly after hiring the victim, he bought several condoms with the intention of having sex with the victim.

On the morning of June 7, 2019, she had just taken a shower in the kitchen toilet when she realised she forgot her pants. She made her way back to her room, dressed with a towel wrapped around her lower body.

The man walked past her while on the way to the kitchen. She then went to her room and locked the door to change into her clothes.

She heard a knock on the door and opened it to find the man standing there. He commented that she smelled nice and hugged her.

When she tried to push him away and said she wanted to change, he hugged and kissed her neck, pushed her onto the mattress, pinned her there and tried to rape her after putting on a condom.

She struggled and repeatedly told him to stop, but he continued holding her down.

She only managed to break free after he sexually assaulted her, fleeing to the kitchen toilet and returning to her room only after he went to his bedroom.

The victim remained silent, thinking this was a one-off incident. She was also worried about losing her job as she needed money to support her family back in Indonesia.

She decided to lock her room door at night, which he previously told her not to do because some of his wife’s belongings were in it.

However, this did not deter him. He used a spare key, entered her room and tried to rape her again but she broke free and fled.

Unable to tolerate the sexual assault, she contacted a friend and fellow domestic worker, who told her she needed proof and gave her the contact details of a senior executive at CDE.

Not wanting to upset the man’s wife whom she felt had treated her kindly, she did not immediately approach CDE. She also hoped he would stop.

But on July 1, 2019, he assaulted her once more when she was feeling unwell and resting in her room. Recalling her friend’s advice, she managed to retrieve her mobile phone, turned on the recording function and left it beside the mattress.

Later, she hid in the kitchen toilet once more. When she returned to her room to rest, he assaulted her again.

He stopped upon noticing her increased resistance and promised it would not happen again.

At about 4pm that day, she decided to contact the CDE for help and provided the video clip. He was subsequently arrested.

HIS BEHAVIOUR WAS ‘BIZARRELY UNCHARACTERISTIC’: LAWYER

The prosecution, led by Deputy Chief Prosecutor Mohamed Faizal and Deputy Public Prosecutor Angela Ang, asked for at least 15.5 years’ jail, calling it a “heinous case of repeated sexual abuse of a vulnerable domestic worker”.

They said that maids are particularly vulnerable to abuse given their solitude in a foreign land and are likely unwilling to report offences so their employment prospects are not jeopardised.

In mitigation, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, one of the man’s lawyers, disagreed that the offences were premeditated.

“What I still struggle with is how bizarrely uncharacteristic the actions of this 68-year-old man were. Up to that stage in June 2019, he had led a blemish-free life,” Mr Sudheesan added.

“He certainly accepts responsibility for his actions but it’s quite clear to me this is an accused who acted totally out of character for that one bizarre month.”

The lawyer also noted that the man treated his former maids well, with one expressing interest in returning to work for the household.

The enormity of his actions “truly hit him” when he was remanded for a week following his arrest. “He has been sorry since then and he is sorry today,” Mr Sudheesan said.

Given his age, Mr Sudheesan added that the prosecution’s submission was “effectively a life sentence”, and asked for 10 years’ jail instead.

In response, DPP Ang said there was no evidence that he even tried to get the victim’s consent and it was clear he bought the condoms regardless of whether she consented.

For each charge of attempted rape or sexual assault by penetration, he could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned. Offenders aged 50 and above cannot be caned under the law.

Related topics

crime court sexual assault attempted rape molestation

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