Man on trial for breaking into flat, sexually assaulting maid

Man on trial for breaking into flat, sexually assaulting maid

File photo of Supreme Court
The entrance of the Supreme Court in Singapore.

SINGAPORE: A domestic helper was ironing clothes in her room - with her employer's bedridden mother next door - when an intoxicated stranger broke into the house, dragged her to the toilet and sexually assaulted her.

This is the prosecution's case against Mark Kalaivanan Tamilarasan, 40, who went to trial on Thursday (Jan 9) for four charges of aggravated sexual assault, house trespass to commit sexual assault, outrage of modesty and impersonation of a public servant.

The prosecutors in their opening address said the 32-year-old victim, whose identity is protected by gag order, was in her employer's flat ironing on the afternoon of Jul 15, 2017.

ACCUSED TRESPASSED THROUGH UNLOCKED FRONT DOOR

They said that Kalaivanan trespassed into the flat through the front door, which was unlocked. He had been out drinking with friends prior to the incident.

After he entered the flat, he crept into the maid's room, startling her. He lied that he was a police officer and demanded for her passport, work permit and money.

When the woman refused, Kalaivanan told her to face the wall and raise her hands, before molesting her, said Deputy Public Prosecutors Wong Kok Weng, Chew Xin Ying and Tan Yen Seow.

The woman resisted and begged Kalaivanan to stop. He threatened to beat her and pulled her to the kitchen toilet as she shouted repeatedly for help: "Tolong, tolong!"

Kalaivanan then ordered her to keep quiet and sit down on the toilet seat. He showed her his fist and threatened to punch her, said the prosecution.

Fearing the man, the woman complied with his demands to close her eyes and open her mouth. He then proceeded to sexually assault her, leaving her nauseated, said the prosecution.

Next, Kalaivanan asked her to remove her pants. At this point, the maid heard footsteps from outside the toilet and seized the chance to escape, said the prosecution.

She saw two police officers outside the flat and ran towards them, screaming for help. A neighbour who lived one floor above had heard her shouting for help and called the police.

The prosecution will lead evidence from 27 witnesses, with the victim taking the stand on Thursday in an in-camera hearing.

The other witnesses they intend to call include the neighbour who had heard the maid's "desperate cries" and called the police, as well as the police officers the maid ran to for help.

The doctors who examined the victim following the assault will also testify that she had scratch marks on her neck and left upper back.

Forensic analysis will reveal that the victim's DNA was on a penile swab taken from Kalaivanan, his underwear and right hand.

"A significant amount of alcohol" was also detected in his blood and urine samples, the prosecution said.

While the defence agreed in an agreed statement of facts that Kalaivanan had penetrated the victim's mouth, they raised the defence of consent.

Kalaivanan will argue during the trial that the maid led him to the flat, where she became intimate with him and willingly performed oral sex on him.

The prosecution has disputed this as "complete lies".

The trial continues. If found guilty of aggravated sexual assault by penetration, Kalaivanan could be jailed between eight and 20 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.

Source: CNA/ll(aj)

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