Woman convicted of abusing maid by kicking her private parts, making her shower with door open
SINGAPORE: A woman who claimed trial to seven charges of abusing her domestic helper in attacks that the prosecutor called demeaning and perverse was convicted of six of the charges on Thursday (Jul 8).
Rosdiana Abdul Rahim, 33, was found guilty of six charges including insulting the Indonesian national's modesty, criminal force, causing hurt and criminal intimidation.
The judge acquitted her of the remaining charge of pulling the victim's shirt and bra, saying the prosecution had not established its case for this offence beyond reasonable doubt.
Over about three months in 2017, Rosdiana abused the young Indonesian maid, who came to Singapore to work for the first time in September 2017.
HER WORKING CONDITIONS
The victim, who is now 21, was not given any days off or any payment for her work throughout her employment with Rosdiana until December 2017.
The victim was tasked not only with caring for the household and Rosdiana's twins, but also with looking after children in Rosdiana's mother's home.
She was given irregular rest times, going to sleep between 11pm and 1am and waking up between 5am and 6am. She was not allowed to nap and testified that she was watched by Rosdiana's family members.
Initially, she was allowed to sleep on the children's pull-out bed, but was shifted to a carpet on the children's bedroom floor.
Eventually, Rosdiana instructed her to sleep on the floor outside the common toilet. The victim chose instead to sleep underneath a cupboard in the living room.
She was not given any blanket or pillow, and Rosdiana threw away a batik cloth she used as a covering, saying it was smelly.
Rosdiana also threw away the victim's clothing and towel claiming they were smelly, and used part of the victim's salary to buy new clothes for her.
The first incident of abuse occurred more than a month into her employment, after Rosdiana complained that the victim was very smelly.
She asked the victim to show her how she showered. When the victim retrieved a change of clothes, Rosdiana dragged her to the toilet by the arm and pushed her into the toilet, spraying water on her while she was clothed.
She placed shampoo on the victim's head and instructed her to remove her wet clothing before turning on the rain shower.
The victim complied and tried to rinse off the shampoo. While she was completely naked, Rosdiana's husband suddenly entered the master bedroom and the victim tried to cover her body.
Noticing this, Rosdiana told the victim that her husband "would not be interested". Crying and afraid, the victim did not say anything.
After the shower, Rosdiana asked the victim to show how she dried herself without a towel. The victim tried to dry herself just with her hands.
Rosdiana then asked her to change inside the master bedroom with the windows open, while she sat on the mattress.
The victim remembered seeing people outside the windows and was concerned that someone would see her. She testified through tears during the trial that she felt very humiliated, feeling she lost her value.
THE WORK EVENT
On another occasion, the victim was preparing to go with Rosdiana and her family to a hotel for an event when she placed baby powder on her face.
Rosdiana saw the powder on the victim's face and told her she looked ugly. She took the baby powder and poured it all over the victim's face until her eyes began to hurt.
The victim tried to remove the powder, but Rosdiana threatened her that her family would no longer be around when she went home if she did so.
The victim cried and feared for her family.
The family stayed at the hotel during Rosdiana's work event in December 2017. The victim slept on the floor of the hotel and tried to use a hotel bath towel to keep warm, but Rosdiana forbade her from doing so. She was not allowed to bring anything to the hotel and did not have any change of clothes during the three-day stay.
When the family returned home on Dec 11, 2017, Rosdiana asked the victim to unpack and prepare her things as she had to hurry out of the house again.
The victim could not carry out her tasks in time and Rosdiana shouted at her to hurry. She then told the victim that her clothes and underwear were smelly as the victim had not changed them during the hotel stay.
Rosdiana kicked the victim twice in her vagina, knocking her backwards on the second kick. The victim hit her back when she fell and felt pain in her crotch area.
The victim said she was crying at this time but Rosdiana continued to scold her, asking her to change her clothes so they could leave.
As the victim was trying to take her clothes out of a cupboard, Rosdiana pushed the cupboard door on the victim's arm, causing her pain.
Because she had been crying, the victim's eyes were red, and Rosdiana said she did not look good. She applied foundation on the victim's face before they left the house.
The next day, Rosdiana and her husband dropped the victim off at the entrance of her maid agency without any explanation. The victim did not know she was being sent home, and did not have any of her belongings with her.
She told a worker there about what happened to her and was taken to lodge a police report.
The prosecutor asked for an adjournment to prepare sentencing arguments. Rosdiana will return to court for mitigation and sentencing next month.