Filipino domestic helper ‘raped, paid to keep quiet’ by HK couple

·2 min read
A group of Filipino women sit and chat and eat in the streets in Hong Kong Central on a Sunday evening. Hong Kong has a huge Filipino population, most of them women working as domestic helpers. They meet in public on their days off since none of them have their own private accomodation. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)
A group of Filipino women sit and chat and eat in the streets in Hong Kong Central on a Sunday evening. Hong Kong has a huge Filipino population, most of them women working as domestic helpers. They meet in public on their days off since none of them have their own private accomodation. (Photo by In Pictures Ltd./Corbis via Getty Images)

A 30-year-old female Filipino domestic helper has accused her employers, Hong Kong couple Chan Chim-tak and his wife Lai Chi-san, of conspiring to rape and paying her HK$150 (P1,060) to keep quiet about it, according to the South China Morning Post.

The incident supposedly happened in the couple’s high-rise flat at Hung Fuk Estate, Hung Shui Kiu, Yuen Long on January 21, 2018. A naked Lai allegedly entered her room and told the helper: “Sir wants you. Pay money.”

On the first attempt, Chan allegedly attempted to rape the helper after the latter was pulled to their bedroom. During the second attempt, Chan supposedly raped the helper with the help of his wife, who was also accused of sexually stimulating her husband, refusing to acknowledge the helper’s screams for help, and groping at some point during the assault.

The domestic helper did not immediately escape after the alleged assault out of fear that she will be thrown out of the window by her employers.

Chan denied the counts of rape and attempted rape, while his wife pleaded not guilty in aiding the alleged rape. The husband argues that the incident in January 2018 was consensual, while his counsel Priscilia Lam Tsz-ying questioned the credibility of the complaint through an exchange of messages in December 2018 between the helper and Lai. There was suggestive tension between the two due to unsatisfactory work.

The helper mentioned that at the time when the messages were exchanged, she was okay with the idea of returning to the Philippines. On January 8, 2018, just days before the alleged rape incident, she had already submitted a one month notice to terminate her contract.

The helper filed a police report on January 22, wherein just after that, a medical examination revealed that Chan’s DNA was found in the helper’s body.

The trial is expected to last for ten days before Justice Alex Lee Wan-tang of the High Court. It started on Monday (August 8).

Mark Ernest Famatigan is a news writer who focuses on Philippine politics. He is an advocate for press freedom and regularly follows developments in the Philippine economy. The views expressed are his own.

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