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Man on trial for raping intoxicated woman after breaking into her house

Man on trial for raping intoxicated woman after breaking into her house

Silhouette of a person entering a room. (File photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A man has been accused of raping an intoxicated woman after breaking into her house following a night of drinking in 2017.

Yap Pow Foo, 47, went on trial on Tuesday (Jun 28) for one charge each of rape and house-breaking. He also faces a charge of harassing a woman in a separate case, which is being stood down during the trial.

Yap and the 39-year-old victim had a mutual friend but had never met before the events leading up to the alleged incident, said Deputy Public Prosecutors Chong Kee En and Susanna Yim.

On Jan 29, 2017, the victim gathered with three other women and two men in her home, where they played mahjong and drank alcohol to celebrate Chinese New Year.

In the evening, all six went to a KTV lounge in Bugis. Yap joined them towards the end of the night, and drove the victim and four other members of the group to their homes at around 12.45am on Jan 30, 2017.

The victim was the first to be dropped off at home. She was heavily intoxicated at the time and had to be carried by two of her friends. Yap also found his own way to her apartment separately.

After putting the victim to bed, closed-circuit television footage captured all three people, including Yap, leaving and locking the door behind them. One of the victim's friends slipped the key under the door, according to the prosecution.

Yap then proceeded to drive the remaining members of the group home. But around 3.05am, he was captured on CCTV returning to and entering the victim's apartment by himself.

He was seen on CCTV again leaving the victim's home at about 3.45am. About 25 minutes later, the victim called the police to report a case of rape.

The prosecution's case is that Yap broke into the victim's home by extracting the victim's key from under her door and using it to unlock and enter the apartment.

Yap is then suspected of raping the victim while she was unconscious. The victim woke up in the middle of the alleged act to find an unknown man, Yap, on top of her.

Yap was arrested in the afternoon of Jan 30, 2017. According to prosecutors, his DNA was found on the inside of the victim's shorts and in a swab taken from the victim's body.

Toxicology tests found that the concentration of alcohol in the victim at the time of the alleged offence would have been consistent with significant mental and physical impairment.

HE THOUGHT SHE WANTED COMPANIONSHIP

During investigations, Yap admitted to a police officer that he went back to look for the victim because of her "intimate" behaviour with him earlier that night, according to a statement by the officer read out in court.

He claimed that at the KTV lounge, the victim had hugged him, told him she was lonely and given him her phone number and condominium access number. He took this as an invitation for companionship.

Yap told the police officer that at the victim's apartment, he managed to retrieve the house key which was slipped under her door.

He said he knew the victim was not sober, but wanted to find out why she was not answering his calls. When he tried asking her about this, she opened her eyes and mumbled.

Yap then claimed that he asked the victim if she wanted to change her clothes. She mumbled her reply but he could not understand what she said.

He said that he took off the victim's clothes, leaving her in her underwear, then laid next to her and started touching her.

He then admitted to taking off her undergarments and said he had more intimate contact with her. He claimed that she opened her eyes and looked at him.

According to the officer, Yap then claimed that he "accidentally slipped", referring to the sex act. The woman told him: "I don't want."

The prosecution will lead evidence from 36 witnesses to prove its case against Yap. The victim and four of her friends who were with her that night will testify.

The trial continues with the victim expected to testify in private in the afternoon.

If convicted of rape, Yap faces up to 20 years' jail and a fine or caning.

If found guilty of house-breaking, he could be jailed for up to five years and fined. As he has past convictions for house-breaking, he may also be caned.

Source: CNA/dv(ac)

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