SINGAPORE - A man who raped his ex-girlfriend in a bid to get her pregnant and force her to marry him was jailed for ten-and-a-half years' and given six strokes of the cane on Monday (8 November).
The man, now 28, had already impregnated the woman twice - when she was 14 and 23 - while they were in a relationship. Both times, the woman got an abortion.
He then raped her when she was 24, even though he already had another girlfriend.
The man earlier pleaded guilty to one count of rape, with another count taken into consideration alongside one count each of aggravated sexual assault by penetration, criminal intimidation, voluntarily causing hurt and mischief.
Long relationship history
The pair had been dating since 7 August 2009, when the accused was 16 and the victim 14. The victim broke up with the man on 11 February 2019 after learning that he had been cheating on her.
The man refused to accept the breakup and asked the victim to get back together with him, but she eventually blocked him on WhatsApp.
On 25 February 2019, he sent her a photo of a parang on his bed through her best friend, with the message, “I [will] do what I say I’m going to do. She wants to cause trouble, I will make everything difficult. Let whatever happens, happens”.
He later wanted to leave his house with the parang hidden in his bag, but was discovered by his father, who had hugged his agitated son to calm him down.
The man eventually apologised and left without his bag, but went to buy a bread knife as he wanted to threaten the victim into confessing whether she had had sex with other men.
He then met with the woman he was dating at the time, before visiting the victim's house, but she was not at home. The victim had stayed away from home as she was worried for her safety.
Assault on the victim
On 26 February 2019, the man texted the victim, saying he wanted to see her badly and that he couldn't "accept the fact that (she had) found (his) replacement".
The next day, the victim returned home. She met the man, who suggested the two proceed to Fragrance Hotel to talk.
As the two were on his motorcycle, he tried to snatch her mobile phone. The two scuffled and he hit her forearm. The man then punched the right of her motorcycle helmet, causing the visor to drop off.
At that point, the man spotted a ring on the victim's ring finger and burst into tears. The woman felt sorry for him. She agreed to his proposal to go to his house to talk things over.
The two reached his house at about 1am on 27 February 2019, when his other family members were asleep.
At that point, the man took off his outer clothes, leaving only his boxers. He placed the bread knife against her neck, and asked for intimate details about sex with her boyfriend. He recorded part of the conversation on his phone.
He then forced her to perform oral sex and raped her without protection, intending to impregnate her so that she would marry him.
After the acts, the man tried to access the victim's phone, smashing its screen when she refused to give him the password. The woman later booked a Grab car and left the house. She called her boyfriend about the incident and made a police report.
The man later claimed that he wanted to surrender to the police and apologised for his offences. He was arrested at about 10.30am the same day.
He was assessed by a psychiatrist and found to be of sound mind and without any mental illness.
The victim did not get pregnant and has since married another man in February this year.
As part of his mitigation, the man's lawyer Kyle Leslie Sim, pointed to the victim's Instastories as evidence of her forgiveness. She had posted a total of 26 Instastories on her account, beginning from three weeks after the incident until August last year, according to the defence.
However Justice Philip Jeyaretnam noted that the victim could have been in a state of "emotional flux" as she had broken up with her then-boyfriend.
In her victim impact statement, recorded in June this year, the woman said that the rape affected her relationship with her then-boyfriend, as he did not want to initiate sex with her.
In response to the defence's argument, the prosecution said that the Instastories were nostalgic and did not talk about the sexual assault. The prosecution sought 13 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane while Sim asked for six years' jail and six strokes of the cane.
Sentencing the accused, Justice Jeyaretnam rejected the defence's argument that the woman had shown forgiveness through her posts.
"In my view, the fact that (the victim) put up these social media posts only shows that she continued to have mixed feelings about you. This is understandable because you had had an almost decade-long relationship with her, during which I have no doubt there were many good times too."
Her posts may simply be part of her process of working through her trauma, added the judge.
"The simple truth, Mr (accused) is that when a person has had a long and loving relationship with someone else, only to be grievously hurt by them, that person will have mixed feelings and emotions as they recover from the trauma inflicted on them," said the judge. The victim's ability to forgive him did not diminish the harm caused to her, he said.
He told the man, "I believe that it is not too late for you to change, become a better man and lead a meaningful life."
"It will not, however, be an easy journey. That journey must start with your fully understanding the immeasurable harm and trauma that you inflicted, and not by your quickly and wrongly concluding that you will be easily forgiven by (the victim)."
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore