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Jail for 53-year-old man who raped niece’s domestic helper

SINGAPORE — He was staying over at his niece’s flat and took a liking to her domestic helper, even wanting to marry and live with her.

A man convicted of sexual assault and rape was jailed 10 years and six months.

A man convicted of sexual assault and rape was jailed 10 years and six months.

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SINGAPORE — He was staying over at his niece’s flat and took a liking to her domestic helper, even wanting to marry and live with her.

The former security officer began touching the helper's hair and buttocks before his actions escalated, culminating in him sexually assaulting and raping her.

On Monday (March 18), the 53-year-old man was sentenced by the High Court to 10 years and six months’ jail, after he admitted to one count of rape and another count of sexual assault by penetration. Two other similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

No caning was imposed as the man is above 50 years old.

Both the man and the domestic helper, now 26, cannot be named due to court orders to protect her identity.


The court heard on Monday that the Indonesian domestic helper had been working for the man’s niece since June 2016.

The man, who lives in Johor, Malaysia but works in Singapore, stayed over at his niece’s house frequently to avoid commuting across the Causeway.

A few months after the helper began her employment, the man told her that he liked her, but she said that she was married and rejected him.

From then on, the man would stroke the helper’s hair and squeeze her buttocks when they were alone in the house. She would push him away or walk away and carry on with her chores elsewhere.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Raja Mohan said: “As the (helper) treated (the man) as an elder and her de-facto employer, she found it difficult to express her firm displeasure to him.” 

She also did not tell the man’s niece about these advances, because she thought that her employer would not believe her.

On Nov 18, 2017, the helper was alone in the flat with the man. Her employer had left for work and the three children were at their grandmother’s home.

While she was doing her chores, the man came out from the common bathroom with only a towel wrapped around his waist and proceeded to hug her from behind.

She struggled and elbowed him, before carrying on with her chores.

“At various points in the morning, (she) observed (him) constantly staring at her from the balcony as he smoked his cigarette,” DPP Raja told the court.

That day, she was also experiencing body aches and she spotted a muscle rub on the dining table. She asked the man if she could use it and he said he would give it to her later.

While she was in the room she shared with her employer’s daughter, the man came in to give her the muscle rub and offered to rub it on her back. She rejected the offer and used it on herself.

But before she was done, he took the rub from her hand and turned her around. He then pressed her left shoulder down forcefully and applied the rub on her upper back.

The court heard that the man then forced her to sit on the edge of the bed. She struggled but he pushed her onto the bed and held her down. He kissed her and sexually assaulted her, before raping her.

After the assault, the helper sent a text message to her sister-in-law who was working in Hong Kong about what had happened and was advised to leave and seek help from the Indonesian embassy.

Following the incident, the man gave the helper a pair of earrings, but she did not accept the gift. At his insistence, she took them and later returned the earrings to him.

While he was napping in the living room later that morning, she made her escape and later filed a police report.

The man was arrested later that day when he returned from a fishing trip.


Urging the court to impose at least 11 years’ jail, the prosecution said that the offences were committed “in the very place where she worked and resided”.

They said that as a domestic helper, she was in a vulnerable position because she was a foreigner who was unfamiliar with the Singapore legal system.

“Ultimately, it was her abased status within the household she worked in that rendered her especially vulnerable to the accused’s sexual assaults, and which allowed the accused the opportunity to repeatedly sexually assault her when no one was in the flat,” said the prosecution.

The man had “completely violated (her) basic right to feel safe in her home in Singapore, leaving her woefully defenceless and helpless”.

The man’s lawyers, Mr Kalidass Murugaiyan and Mr Chua Hock Lu, urged the court to impose a jail sentence of up to nine years, saying that their client’s actions arose “out of a loss of self-control”.

The defence also said the man believed that he was “spiritually disturbed” at the time of the offence and that he had previously encountered “a supernatural entity in the course of his work”.

For the charge of rape, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years, fined and/or caned.

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