Singapore

Worker denies attacking woman at MacRitchie Reservoir

Bangladeshi construction worker on trial for abducting, raping hiker in broad daylight at MacRitchie Reservoir

A construction worker allegedly abducted a woman at knife-point in broad daylight as she was walking along a MacRitchie Reservoir trail, then took her into the forested area where he repeatedly raped her.

Bangladeshi national Pramanik Liton, 24, was arrested two days later at his worksite, after his fingerprint was lifted from a folding knife found by a Gurkha tracker in the forest.

His semen was also found on her panties, swabs taken from her body, and tissue paper recovered from the crime scene, which was 14m off the trail.

Liton denied attacking the woman, a Chinese national, between 1.45pm and about 3.35 pm on Feb 8, 2015.

The woman, 41, cannot be named due to a gag order.

Liton went on trial yesterday for two counts of aggravated rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of abduction for illicit intercourse.

When a sketch plan of part of the park was submitted in court, he denied having gone to the Lornie Trail, where the woman was walking before she was accosted.

Speaking through a Bengali interpreter, he said: "The map shows the left side of MacRitchie Park; I went to the right side."

Liton also said he "doesn't know anything about this knife" when a photograph of the weapon was shown to him.

The prosecution has contended that Liton had committed the offences against the victim, and will be submitting evidence from 44 witnesses to prove its case.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stella Tan told the court that the woman was stopped on her walk by Liton, who asked her to have sex with him.

When she refused, he held a knife against her neck, covered her nose and mouth and took her into the forested area.

After raping her twice and forcing her to perform oral sex on him, Liton threw the knife into another spot in the forest and left her there, said the DPP.

The woman, who has worked in Singapore since 2009, phoned her boyfriend - now her husband - for help at about 3.35pm, and met him at the Mushroom Cafe near the entrance of the park. She lodged a police report that evening.

She took the stand behind closed doors yesterday.

Assistant Superintendent Lim Yi Ting of the Serious Sexual Crime Branch (SSCB) testified that when she saw the woman on the night of the incident, she looked "pale and weak" and her hair was "messy".

When she was escorted back to MacRitchie Reservoir by police, the woman was shivering in fear and sat at the kerb, refusing to walk in.

"It took us a while to convince her she will be safe with us," said ASP Lim.

The tissue paper the suspect had used to clean himself had a distinct print on it, and belonged to the victim.

A Gurkha tracker found the "flattened" scene, where three pieces of tissue paper were recovered.

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