Rape victim texted boss: 'Come quickly and save me'
For three long hours, a beautician was trapped in a room as a man she was sharing a flat with raped her and filmed the attack.
During her ordeal, she managed to make two phone calls for help and sent two text messages to her colleagues, who called the police.
The man, a 29-year-old Chinese national, was arrested when the police showed up at the Bishan flat.
He was sentenced to 11½ years' jail and six strokes of the cane yesterday after pleading guilty to one count each of raping his Malaysian victim and for making an obscene video of the attack.
The former technician cannot be named to protect his victim's identity.
The High Court heard that the accused got to know the 23-year-old married woman in December 2012 through online chat application WeChat.
He helped her find a job in Singapore and offered to let her live in his rented flat for free.
When she came to Singapore in February 2013, she shared a room with a tenant. The man shared a room with his wife.
Throughout her stay, he had a romantic interest in her.
On May 27, 2013, she was getting ready for work at 10am when he texted her to go to his room as he wanted to speak to her.
The victim refused but ran into the man on her way out. He insisted that they talk. When she refused again, he blocked her exit before grabbing her.
Her then carried her to his room, threw her on the bed and shut the door. He held her down and ordered her not to scream.
Frightened, she kept quiet but struggled when he removed her shorts and underwear.
Despite her cries, he raped her and ignored her pleas for him to stop.
When she said she had to go to work, he told her to call in sick, and that he would let her go only if she had sex with him willingly.
As she tried to scream for help, he covered her mouth and told her that he had killed people in China.
When the man was distracted performing a sex act on her, the victim managed to reach into her bag to get her mobile phone and dialed her colleague's number at 10.45am.
Her colleague reported hearing the victim crying in the background and saying in Mandarin: "Let me go. I am late for work already."
When her colleague told their manager about the call, the latter called the victim several times but could not get through.
A human resources personnel at the salon also sent a text message to the man to ask him where she was. He replied that she was sick and would report to work only in the afternoon.
He also filmed the rape on his mobile phone for 28 minutes.
At about 12.30pm, the victim pretended to look at the time on her phone and managed to call her manager, who reported hearing someone crying in the background and a loud scream.
The manager's husband, who was next to her, recorded the call on his mobile phone.
PLEAS WENT UNHEARD
During the ordeal, the victim repeatedly pleaded with her rapist to release her.
He again told her he would do that only if she willingly had sex with him. He also said that he did not care if she was married and he wanted her to "be his woman".
When he continued raping her, she felt tired and powerless to resist him.
She later managed to text her manager to come quickly and save her.
When the manager replied that she should stay home if she was ill, the victim messaged to say that the accused was raping her.
The manager's husband immediately called the police.
Soon after, the accused ejaculated.
The police arrived at the flat at about 12.50pm and arrested him.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Lin Yinbing asked for a sentence of at least 10 years' jail and six strokes of the cane because the trauma inflicted on the victim was indelible.
Referring to the victim impact statement, DPP Lin said the victim could not erase the memory of the rape, had difficulty trusting people, lost focus in her work and became more moody.
The woman even contemplated suicide but decided against it because of her family.
She now has a strained relationship with her husband.
In mitigation, defence lawyer Diana Ngiam said her client and the victim shared a close friendship and he genuinely cared for her.
During sentencing, Judicial Commissioner Hoo Sheau Ping said the offence was serious and reprehensible.
This was aggravated by the man's acts during the rape, his lying to the victim's employer, exposing her to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases by not using a condom and trapping her for nearly three hours.
"I accept that the accused has pleaded guilty and has a clean record. But I agree it has little value as he was caught red-handed at the scene of the crime," the judge said.
After the hearing, two of the accused's relatives spoke to him for about five minutes before he was taken away.
His sentence was backdated to May 27, 2013, the day of his arrest.
"Let me go. I am late for work already."
-The victim to her attacker, when she managed to dial a colleague's mobile phone number during her ordeal
Accused cared about victim, says lawyer
The accused's lawyer, Ms Diana Ngiam, told the court that her client genuinely cared for the victim because they would tell each other about problems with their respective spouses.
Knowing that she had two children, the man also tried to help her in any way possible and gave her money when she needed it.
The closeness of their relationship made his wife jealous and they had several rows over this.
The night before the rape, the accused had an argument with his wife, who insisted the victim move out of the flat immediately.
She refused so he was caught between his wife and his friend.
His frustrations were carried over to the next morning. When the victim did not want to speak to him, he lost control of himself, Ms Ngiam said.