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Man on trial for sexually assaulting male friend, 20, after night of drinking

SINGAPORE — A night of pub crawling in 2017 turned into a nightmare for a 20-year-old man, after his male friend allegedly took advantage of his intoxicated state to sexually assault him several times while he drifted in and out of consciousness.

Man on trial for sexually assaulting male friend, 20, after night of drinking
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  • Jeffrey Pe first met the young man who is half his age in July 2017 at a pub
  • They then celebrated the completion of his full-time National Service the following month
  • After getting drunk, they went to Pe’s condominium unit where he allegedly sexually violated the younger man
  • The prosecution said they will lead evidence to prove that the alleged victim could not consent due to intoxication

SINGAPORE — A night of pub crawling in 2017 turned into a nightmare for a 20-year-old man, after his male friend allegedly took advantage of his intoxicated state to sexually assault him several times while he drifted in and out of consciousness.

He had hung out with the alleged assailant, Jeffrey Pe, that evening to celebrate the completion of his full-time National Service.

On Wednesday (Sept 21), Pe, now aged 45, began standing trial in the High Court.

The Singaporean is contesting three charges of sexual assault by penetration. He claims that his alleged victim consented to the acts.

The younger man, who is now 25 and is a Singapore permanent resident from the United Kingdom, cannot be named due to a court order to protect his identity.

He testified behind closed doors on Wednesday, with reporters and the public not allowed to attend the hearing.

'EXPLOITED NAIVETE': PROSECUTION

In their opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) David Khoo and Tay Jia En told the court that Pe exploited the younger man’s “naivete and trusting nature to commit a slate of serious sexual offences against the victim when he was at his most vulnerable”.

The pair got to know each other at Hero’s pub along Circular Road in July 2017. They exchanged phone numbers and later met on July 30 at a bar to celebrate Pe’s birthday.

The DPPs said Pe had learned that the alleged victim recently broke up with his longtime girlfriend and was looking to meet people, in particular girls.

“The accused thereafter gained the victim’s trust by showing that he was a sociable and extroverted person who could introduce the victim to people to expand the victim’s social network,” the prosecutors added.

They next met in the wee hours of Aug 6 that year, when the younger man asked Pe over social media application Snapchat if he wanted to drink.

However, Pe fell asleep. The other man continued drinking with his friends at Clarke Quay.

The pair subsequently met on Aug 8 that year to celebrate the younger man completing his full-time NS.

They had several alcoholic drinks at a restaurant and some pubs in the Chinatown area, before taking a taxi to Pe’s condominium. The alleged victim had felt drunk and asked Pe if he could “crash” at Pe’s place.

There, Pe made him an alcoholic beverage and offered him a change of clothes, as well as to sleep on his bed.

He declined before falling asleep on the floor of Pe’s bedroom.

VICTIM DEVELOPED ANXIETY DISORDER

Sometime later, the young man woke up to find Pe allegedly performing oral sex on him. Pe also purportedly used his own fingers to penetrate him anally twice.

The alleged victim, who was semi-unconscious, then pushed Pe away and went to the toilet to wash up. He left the unit and called his friend, saying Pe had raped him, before calling the police.

Pe was arrested a few hours later.

The prosecution said they will lead evidence from 26 witnesses to prove the charges beyond a reasonable doubt.

This includes two Singapore General Hospital doctors who examined the alleged victim, as well as an Institute of Mental Health (IMH) psychiatrist who will testify that he was likely to still be drunk during the sexual acts and therefore unable to consent.

Another IMH psychiatrist is also set to testify that Pe does not suffer from any mental illness.

A National University Hospital psychiatrist had diagnosed the alleged victim with an anxiety disorder with possible post-traumatic stress symptoms, having examined him around August 2018.

DPPs Tay and Khoo added in their opening statement: “Every Singaporean son will fondly remember his Operationally Ready Date, where he is formally released from full-time NS duties.

"Alas, not so for the (alleged) victim. Instead of fond memories, he is instead left with indelible scars of National Day 2017, and he had to seek professional help to overcome the trauma he received from the incident.”

The trial is set to continue for the rest of the week.

Pe is defended by lawyers Amarjit Singh and Simrin Sidhu.

If convicted of sexual assault by penetration, he could be jailed for up to 20 years, as well as fined or caned, for each charge.

Related topics

court crime sexual assault sex crime

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