Employer gets jail, caning for raping maid twice

A 45-year-old man who raped his domestic worker from Myanmar twice in a period of six hours at his Pasir Ris flat was yesterday sentenced to 13 years' jail and 20 strokes of the cane.

In sentencing the alcohol distributor, Justice Chan Seng Onn said his actions were "reprehensible" .

The Singapore permanent resident from Malaysia was released on bail of $70,000 as he is appealing against his conviction.

He is not named as a court order bars the publication of information that can lead to the identification of the 35-year-old victim, who started working for his family in July 2013.

The man was charged with two counts of raping his maid, at 2.40am and 7am on Dec 20, 2013, while his wife and two children were in Hong Kong for a holiday.

The prosecution's case is that after a night of drinking with friends, the accused returned home in the early hours, called for the maid and when she came out of her room, pulled her to his bedroom, where he raped her.

The maid testified that after the rape, she washed herself and cried in her room. She rang a compatriot who was working in Singapore but he did not pick up the call, so she sent him a text message. Unsure what to do next, she embarked on housework. When the accused awoke, he went to the kitchen where she was washing clothes, pulled her into his bedroom and once again raped her.

The maid testified that she then put on fresh clothes and went to cook rice and iron clothes, things she would not normally do at that time, except that she felt "unstable". After the accused left the flat, she called the acquaintance, who told her to call the police.

The accused, who pleaded not guilty to both charges, contends that he had consensual sex with the maid. He is now divorced from his wife. In September, after a seven-day trial, Justice Chan convicted him of both charges after accepting the maid's testimony that she had not consented to having sex with the accused.

Yesterday, the prosecution sought a sentence of 15 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the accused. "The victim was forced to undergo the full gamut of emotional turmoil and trauma... not once but twice," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kumaresan Gohulabalan.

The man's lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, argued that his client's conviction represented a "marked departure" from his usual character. He asked for 11 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane.

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 15, 2016, with the headline 'Employer gets jail, caning for raping maid twice'. Print Edition | Subscribe