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4 years’ jail, caning for youth who sexually assaulted unconscious schoolmate after night of drinking

SINGAPORE — A night of drinking to celebrate the opening of the school year, turned into a nightmare for a 19-year-old after she lost consciousness was sexually assaulted by her schoolmate. 
4 years’ jail, caning for youth who sexually assaulted unconscious schoolmate after night of drinking
  • A group of friends had alcoholic drinks to celebrate the reopening of school in 2020
  • One of them then vomited in the toilet and lost consciousness
  • Her schoolmate got her to his bed and sexually violated her before falling asleep next to her

SINGAPORE — What started as a night of drinking to celebrate the opening of the school year turned into a nightmare for a 19-year-old, after she lost consciousness and was sexually assaulted by her schoolmate. 

On Thursday (June 30), a judge rejected less severe sentencing options that are usually offered to young offenders and meted out a four-year jail term along with two strokes of the cane to the 20-year-old offender. 

The youth cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity. He was aged 18 when he violated her in August 2020.

Both he and victim are from China and were studying in Singapore.

The youth pleaded guilty earlier this year to a single charge of sexual assault by penetration.

On the evening of Aug 1 in 2020, they had gone to the youth's apartment to celebrate the reopening of school along with three other friends, the court heard.

The group shared a bottle each of whiskey and vodka. The victim drank many shots of liquor and became “severely intoxicated”, Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Delicia Tan and Andre Chong told the court.

Around 10.30pm, she went to the ensuite toilet of the accused’s room to vomit.

When she stayed there for 20 minutes and did not respond to him knocking on the door, he forcefully opened it in the presence of their other friends. He then saw her slumped over the toilet bowl.

Their friends left the apartment shortly after that. A short while later, he realised that the victim had vomited all over the toilet floor.

She asked him to get her mobile phone so that she could call her boyfriend to pick her up, but he could not find her device.

He then pulled her up from the floor and threw her face-down on his bed. She soon blacked out. 

He proceeded to sexually assault her at this point for a few seconds. He knew that she was not conscious and could not consent to his actions, the prosecution said.

She realised what he was doing when she briefly regained consciousness and asked him to call her boyfriend. He then stopped and masturbated before falling asleep.

Around 1.30am, one of their friends, who was also the youth's housemate, returned home and tried to open his room door but discovered that it was locked.

The victim woke up around 4am and found the youth sleeping next to her. She got dressed and shook him awake, asking for her mobile phone.

She then took a taxi home and sent phone text messages to her boyfriend, saying that she had been molested.

The couple returned an hour later to confront the youth, who denied sexually assaulting her because he “did not know how to explain his actions to the victim’s boyfriend”, the court heard.

She eventually made a police report the following morning.

On Thursday, District Judge Kessler Soh told the youth that the severity of his offence was reflected in the maximum punishment — 20 years’ jail with caning.

The judge described it as a “grievous form of assault and a very serious violation of a person”, ruling that the usual rehabilitative sentencing options for young offenders — probation or reformative training — were “simply not appropriate” in this case.

The prosecution had asked for six to seven years’ jail with three strokes of the cane.

His defence lawyers — Mr Eugene Thuraisingam, Mr Chooi Jing Yen and Mr Johannes Hadi — sought either reformative training or three years’ jail and two strokes of the cane.

They said that their client will be appealing against the sentence. He remains out on bail of S$80,000 pending the appeal in the High Court.

Related topics

court crime sexual assault drinking drunk

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