Singapore

Accused claims he scared rape victim to death, denies confession

Alleged rapist denies frightening woman with knife, claims he scared her to death

A Bangladeshi construction worker on trial for the alleged abduction and rape of a woman at knifepoint two years ago said he did not have sex with her because she had died from fear.

Taking the stand yesterday, Pramanik Liton, 24, described what transpired on the afternoon of Feb 8, 2015 at a MacRitchie Reservoir trail.

He claimed he had chased the 39-year-old Chinese national into a forested area and scared her to death.

He also claimed he did not frighten her with a knife.

This, despite the woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, testifying behind closed doors two days earlier.

Liton faces two counts of aggravated rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of abduction for illicit intercourse.

The court heard he was arrested at his worksite two days after the incident after his fingerprint was lifted from a jackknife found by a Gurkha tracker in the forest. His semen was also found on the woman's panties, swabs taken from her body and tissue paper recovered from the crime scene.

During cross-examination, Deputy Public Prosecutor Stella Tan put forth statements he had given to the police and an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist, in which he had admitted to the rape and ownership of the knife. However, Liton claimed he did not make those statements.

In her submissions, DPP Tan said the victim was an "unusually convincing witness", having given a detailed account of the alleged incident.

She said: "The accused's evidence has vacillated from admission to the offence... to claiming (during trial) that he was not at the scene.

"His evidence in court simply can't stand up to the objective evidence that has been adduced in the course of this trial."

A psychiatric assessment done at Changi Prison's Complex Medical Centre found that Liton was not suffering from mental illness.

The punishment for aggravated rape is between eight and 20 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.

The verdict will be delivered today.

Deathrapecourt