SINGAPORE: A man raped his maid after asking her for a massage, going on to molest another woman and assault a third while on court bail.
The 43-year-old man, who cannot be named due to a gag order, was sentenced on Monday (Mar 23) to about 11 years and seven months' jail and nine strokes of the cane.
He pleaded guilty to one count of rape and one count of molest, with another two charges of voluntarily causing hurt and sexual assault taken into consideration.
The court heard that the accused, a Singapore permanent resident originally from China, lived with his wife, his son, two tenants and a 32-year-old maid from Myanmar.
The incident occurred about half a year after the victim began working for the family.
The man had been drinking beer alone in the master bedroom when he called the maid into his room between 3pm and 4pm on Feb 22, 2018.
He asked her to massage him, and she massaged his legs while he lay on the bed. She complied again when he asked her to massage his back and around his collar bones.
Suddenly, the man pulled the maid towards him and sexually assaulted her, before raping her.
The woman ran to her room after this and locked the door, contacting another domestic helper and asking for help to contact the police.
The man called through the door for the woman to come out, but the victim refused to do so, said Deputy Public Prosecutors James Chew and Gregory Gan.
The victim's friend contacted the police and the man was arrested the next morning and charged the following day.
MOLESTED WOMAN WHILE ON BAIL
While released on court bail, the man molested a 38-year-old British woman on an escalator at Chinatown MRT station at about noon on May 14, 2019.
He stood behind the woman on the escalator, which was heading up, and touched her elbow before molesting her upper thigh.
She reported the incident to station staff and the police were alerted.
However, the man offended again - kicking a woman's buttock and hitting her face with a bag at the same MRT station on Jul 19, 2019. After this, he was denied bail.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gregory Gan asked for at least 12 years' jail and 10 strokes of the cane for the rape charge and another five weeks' jail for the molestation.
He noted that the rape victim was a foreign domestic worker and particularly vulnerable to abuse by employers, and that she did not even know how to contact the police and had to ask for help to do so.
"Instead of treating her with dignity and respect, the accused ruthlessly exploited her vulnerability, sexually assaulting her within the privacy and sanctity of the home," said Mr Gan.
He called the man's reoffending while on court bail "a clear sign of complete brazenness and ... sheer defiance of the law".
Defence lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said his client had been having a business dispute at the time of the rape offence and was highly stressed.
He acted "impulsively and foolishly" and said his wife has since left him. The lawyer added that the man's son is potentially suicidal and urged for a gag order to be imposed on the offender's identity.
He asked for a term of 10 years and two weeks' jail and six strokes.
For rape, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned.
For outraging a person's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties.