Delay of penalty for rapist and molester

Prosecution to appeal against reform training for now 20-year-old who violated 2 teens

A teen molested a 16-year-old girl whom he met for the first time and then raped a mutual friend who had tried to matchmake them.

Loew Zi Xiang, now 20, who was 18 and a student at the time, was yesterday sentenced to reformative training, a strict regimen of 18 months to three years in the Reformative Training Centre.

He was convicted last month - after a 10-day trial - of kissing the first victim on her lips between 6pm and 7.05pm in his flat on Sept 8, 2014, and of raping the second victim, then 16, between 7.10pm and 7.40pm.

District Judge Jasbendar Kaur yesterday allowed a delay of the punishment pending an appeal by the prosecution against the sentence.

Arguing for at least six years' jail and six strokes of the cane, Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo said Loew could not have committed the offences but for the trust the second victim had in him.

The pair had met three or four times over four years and had a "brother-sister" type of relationship.

The DPP said Loew betrayed her trust when he raped the student, now 18, causing her great disappointment.

The court heard that the trio met that afternoon in 2014 to chat and play with Loew's dog at a sheltered hut near his block. The girls then left to meet a friend at a community centre.

Loew later invited them back to play with his dog. They subsequently followed him to his flat where he lived with his mother, a divorcee, who was at home that day.

He led the girls to his bedroom, saying the floor in the living room was not clean. They sat on his bed, chatting with one another.

The first victim testified that she was not too pleased when Loew later snatched her cellphone and tried to pull her to the bed on the pretext of shaking her hand.

After the first victim was on the bed, Loew showed the second victim a message to get her to leave and play with the dog. He then molested the first victim.

He later raped the second victim, who refused to leave the flat when the first victim pleaded with her to do so.

Judge Kaur found the rape victim's evidence unusually convincing. It was also corroborated by Loew's statement to the police.

Loew's lawyers, Mr Kalidass Murugaiyan, Ms Cheryl Ng and Mr Ahmad Firdaus Daud, had defended him citing "mistake of fact".

But the judge said: "The fact that he did not express any confusion or regret after the second victim asked him why he had treated her this way also showed, without doubt, that the accused could not have mistaken any signals when he had the unwanted sexual intercourse with the second victim."

Loew, who has been remanded since Nov 6 last year, had a third charge of rioting taken into consideration.

The maximum penalty for rape is 20 years' jail. The offender may also be fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 09, 2016, with the headline 'Delay of penalty for rapist and molester'. Print Edition | Subscribe