Boy, 14, to be tried as adult in rape case

A 14-YEAR-OLD boy who has been charged with raping a 16-year-old at a lift lobby will be tried as an adult.

Believed to be the youngest to be tried for rape in Singapore's High Court, the boy is also accused of molesting a 21-year-old woman.

He was first charged in the Juvenile Court - which has since been renamed the Youth Court - last July for offences such as snatch theft and housebreaking.

But while out on bail, on the night of Oct 3, the teenager allegedly grabbed the buttocks of a woman at the staircase of a block of flats. On Nov 21, he allegedly raped a girl twice, once after threatening to take out a knife if she did not lie down. He also allegedly violated her with his finger and a comb.

Bail was revoked after the teen was arrested for rape that month. He now faces two counts each of rape and of sexual assault by penetration of the 16-year-old.

Each charge carries a maximum of 20 years in jail and caning. His case has since been transferred to the High Court, which has wider sentencing powers and can impose corporal punishment on a person aged between 14 and 16. If the boy is convicted, he can be caned, but with a light rattan.

A spokesman for the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) said the offences of rape and sexual assault by penetration can be tried only in the High Court. The AGC applied for the remaining charges to be transferred so they can be dealt with together.

The boy also faces some less serious charges. On June 20, 2013, he and accomplices allegedly stole an electric shaver, some perfume and manicure tools from a unit at Redhill Close.

Last July, he allegedly received a stolen ez-link card and he and his accomplices allegedly broke into a flat in Redhill to steal $300 and cigarettes. The next day, they allegedly stole a mobile phone, cigarettes, a wallet and $1,500 from the same victim. Hearing dates have yet to be set for his plea to be taken.

selinal@sph.com.sg