SINGAPORE: A 40-year-old bunker surveyor was sentenced to 13.5 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Monday (Nov 13) for abducting a 22-year-old student from Zouk and taking the intoxicated woman to his Hume Heights home, where he raped her as she lay unconscious.
The club's closed-circuit television captured bunker surveyor Ong Soon Heng carrying the victim’s limp body out of the club and into his car in the early hours of Jul 24, 2014. He had volunteered to take her home after she passed out drunk. Because they were friendly, the victim’s friends thought she would be safe with Ong.
The woman was found in Ong’s bed next morning, half-dressed and still passed out drunk. Her boyfriend had tracked her down using the Find My iPhone app, and “dragged” her into his car to take her home to her anxious father, he testified during Ong’s trial.
She arrived home in a stupor. Fearing she may have been drugged, her father told his wife to take her to the hospital. Two days later, he realised what had happened to his daughter was worse.
When confronted by the victim’s father, boyfriend and brother, Ong denied any wrongdoing. However, at a meeting with the father next day, Ong admitted he had had sex with the victim. Unbeknownst to Ong, the father had recorded his confession.
In tears, the father testified: “I struggled … I (thought to myself), how do I … tell my family?”
Based on the victim’s blood alcohol content the following afternoon, a medical doctor said it is probable she had spent the entirety of the night before – while she was at Ong’s – so intoxicated she would have been unconscious.
It was her father who broke the news to her that she had been raped – by a person she had considered a “good friend”.
During Ong’s trial, it emerged that the divorcee was romantically interested in the victim, 15 years his junior. He had persisted in his advances though he knew the woman had a boyfriend and was not interested in him.
The victim tolerated his advances so as not to jeopardise her internship at an F&B outlet whose owners were Ong’s friends, prosecutors had said.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Sellakumaran Sellamuthoo and Siti Adrianni Marhain sought at least 14 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane.
The victim testified against her rapist, and Ong’s lawyers at the time had “forced her awareness of sordid details which had been mercifully concealed from her memory,” prosecutors said. “(The victim’s) anguish was plain to see,” they told the High Court.
Ong’s current lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Diana Ngiam sought 10 years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.
At an earlier hearing, Justice Aedit Abdullah slammed “disrespectful” comments directed at the victim which he said were made by people taking advantage of the anonymity of the Internet. Such comments are “very, very unhelpful” to the victim and may discourage others to come forward, he said.
For rape, Ong could have been jailed for up to 20 years and caned. For abduction, he could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.
Mr Sunil said on Monday that his client will appeal the conviction and sentence. Ong is on S$80,000 bail pending the hearing of the appeal.