SINGAPORE: Shortly after his wife gave birth, a man allegedly molested his spouse's cousin after a club outing, preying on her in the guest bedroom.
The 41-year-old Malaysian went on trial on Monday (Jul 5) for one count of using criminal force on the 26-year-old woman, intending to outrage her modesty while wrongfully restraining her.
All identities in this case are redacted to protect the identity of the complainant, who is 29 this year.
The Malaysian woman took the stand against the accused from behind a screen, shielded from him. She told the court that she first met the accused in December 2011, when he started dating her cousin. The accused married the woman's cousin in 2014.
They were very close and she considered him a brother, said the woman. She was very close to his wife as well, considering her a sister.
In March 2019, the woman travelled to Singapore to visit her family.
On the night of Mar 15, 2019, she met friends and relatives for dinner and later went to a club.
At the club, the woman fell and injured her ankle. She went to an apartment with the accused, where she sat on the bed in the guest room.
The accused said he had some ointment for her and went to get it, said the woman. She said she was wearing a jumpsuit at the time but had taken off her belt.
Her cousin's husband returned and massaged her ankle with her consent, she said. When it was over, she asked him if he could turn the lights off on his way out as she was tired and wanted to sleep.
However, after turning off the lights, the man lay on the bed with her, she testified.
"I got up immediately and asked him what he was doing," said the woman. "He said - it's just for a short while, no one needs to know."
She said he added that he was "very lonely" and "I just want to smell you".
The woman testified with audible difficulty, stopping at points. She said her cousin's husband tried to kiss her and she repeatedly protested and turned away.
"I kept protesting, saying - what's wrong with you, you just had a baby, you are a father, (cousin's name) is my sister," she said.
According to her, the accused kept saying "no one needs to know" but would show "signs of guilt" by saying "I don't know what's wrong with me, I'm sick in the head".
The woman said she kept trying to dissuade him, telling him to stop and saying something like this happened to her before when she was younger.
"He said 'how could he do this to you'," said the woman. She claimed that she asked the man if he always had feelings for her, and he said yes. When she asked why he married her cousin then, he purportedly hit his head and said he did not know, and that he was "sick in the head".
According to her, the accused then pulled down half her jumpsuit, molested her and said: "Don't lie, I know you want this".
The woman screamed and shouted. "I thought that for sure, I'd be raped, and the only way to save my life was to ensure he did not get my jumpsuit off," she said in court.
She left, and took a private hire car to a hotel intending to stay there. However, she eventually sought solace at a friend's home instead.
Describing her distraught state, the woman said: "Frankly, I thought it would be easier if I just walked in front of a bus. I kept thinking of my cousin, the newborn baby."
The trial continues. If convicted of using wrongful restraint in an attempt to outrage a person's modesty, the accused could be jailed between two and 10 years and caned.