Singapore

Man get 12 years, 10 strokes for raping unconscious woman

Calling offence 'opportunistic', judge says victim was so intoxicated she was unable to resist man's advances

Egged on by his friends, a night club manager-cum-bouncer raped a woman while she was drunk and unconscious at a chalet in Pasir Ris in 2018.

Yap Chun Chieh, 41, was yesterday sentenced to 12 years and three months' jail and 10 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty earlier to one charge each of rape and outrage of modesty.

He was among a group of men who had taken the victim, who was severely intoxicated, to a chalet at D'Resort @ Downtown East on the morning of Sept 17, 2018, The Straits Times reported.

The woman, then 24 years old, was raped by Yap and sexually assaulted by Tay Boon Huat, 29, while Gan Soon Chai, 35, filmed the attack on his phone. She cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity.

Tay was earlier sentenced to 10 years and three months' jail and five strokes of the cane, while Gan, a Malaysian who was a cashier at Club V5, was jailed for 15 months and fined $20,800.

In sentencing Yap yesterday, High Court judge See Kee Oon noted that his offence was "opportunistic".

Yap was emboldened by the knowledge that the victim was so intoxicated that she was in no position to resist his advances, Justice See added.

The defence had argued that Yap had a mild neurocognitive disorder due to a bout of meningoencephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, in his youth, which impaired his judgment.

REJECT

But, in rejecting as a mitigating factor that Yap was easily influenced by his peers, the judge said Yap was able to function and adapt, and was able to understand the nature and consequences of his conduct.

The court earlier heard that Tay had booked the chalet for his friends from Sept 16 to 17.

Four of them went to Club V5 Tycoon at Ming Arcade in Cuscaden Road after midnight on Sept 17.

The woman arrived at 3.35am with her friends after having drinks at another club.

When her friends got into a dispute with another group outside the club and left after it was resolved, she was left behind.

She then drank with Tay, Yong Chun Hong, also a manager-cum-bouncer, and Mr Yeo We Chieng, 42, at Club V5 .

At about 6am, Yong, 32, spent 15 minutes alone with her in the toilet. He then passed her to Yap, telling him to send her home in a taxi.

On the drive to the chalet, Yong and his friends spotted Yap with the woman. Yong invited Yap to the chalet and pulled the woman into the car.

During the journey, Tay touched her breasts and Yap joined in, ST reported.

At the chalet, Yong and Tay told Yap words to the effect of “the woman is already lying here and you still are not having sex with her. What are you waiting for?”.

Yap then raped the woman.  At the same time, Tay lay down near the victim’s head and forced himself on her.

At about 9am, Yap helped the woman to get dressed and  took her home in a taxi.

When they reached her block of flats, the woman was asleep and Yap decided to take her to the nearest hotel.

At the hotel, he touched her breasts. At about 7pm, the woman was startled to wake up next to a stranger.

She paid for the room after Yap told her it cost $70. They then went their separate ways. That night, the woman went back to the club to talk to a friend about the incident and recognised Yap.

Days later, she approached Yap, who apologised for having sex with her.

She eventually told her mother about what happened and made a police report.

The five men were subsequently arrested and video footage of the incident was found in Gan’s phone.

Yong’s case is pending while Mr Yeo was not charged.

For rape, Yap could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned.

For molestation, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined and/or caned. 

COURT & CRIME