SINGAPORE: A convicted rapist had his appeal against his sentence dismissed on Monday (May 18), after he claimed he was in a “serious intimate relationship” with the 12-year-old victim and had consent from her parents to marry her.
The 39-year-old man, who cannot be named in order to protect the victim’s identity, had been sentenced in May last year to 10 years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.
He had pleaded guilty to one count of raping a minor, with another two charges of raping and sexually assaulting her taken into consideration.
At the time of his sentencing for rape, the man was serving a jail term of seven years and six months from December 2015 for drug offences.
His appeal was for his rape sentence to run concurrently with his jail term for drugs, instead of consecutively after.
However, the Court of Appeal dismissed his application, noting that courts are given the discretion to decide whether a sentence for a currently jailed offender will commence immediately or at the end of a previous imprisonment term.
The man had argued through an interpreter that he hopes his appeal will be granted as he wants to be given a second chance and take care of his mother.
He claimed that he was in a serious intimate relationship with the victim and had the consent of her parents to get married. He added that he did not know that the victim only 12 years old at the time.
However, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew pointed out that these points contradict each other.
“He says he was in a serious and intimate relationship with the victim – on the other hand, he says he has no idea how old she was,” he said.
“He said her parents agreed for them to get married. We say this is completely untrue and inconsistent with the statement of facts he admitted to without qualification.”
He had admitted to a statement of facts that said the victim’s mother and the offender’s brother did not know that the offender and the victim had become closer.
The offender’s brother was dating the victim’s mother at the time of the offences.
It was the offender’s brother who had alerted the police when he found the man drinking beer with the victim and noticed love bites on the girl’s neck.
The prosecutor said the man’s arguments, which had not been raised at all before this, were a “belated attempt to downplay his culpability” and lower his sentence.
Judge of Appeal Judith Prakash said it was “unbelievable” that the man did not know the victim’s age, and said it was not a mitigating factor that the victim had consented to the sexual activity. This is only the case in exceptional circumstances, such as when the accused and the victim are close in age.
The offender, a divorcee with two children, was a part-time musician in 2015 when he committed the crimes. He stayed over at his brother’s home and got to know the victim, chatting with her over the phone without her mother’s knowledge.
He engaged in sexual acts with her on a night in September 2015 after the girl had run away from home, before raping her.
He could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned for statutory rape.
Published at Mon, 18 May 2020 08:50:38 +0000