Husband of alleged MacRitchie rape victim testifies

A Bangladeshi construction worker allegedly abducted a 39-year-old Chinese national along a trail at MacRitchie Reservoir and raped her.
A Bangladeshi construction worker allegedly abducted a 39-year-old Chinese national along a trail at MacRitchie Reservoir and raped her. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - The husband of a woman who was allegedly raped in broad daylight at MacRitchie Reservoir two years ago said on Wednesday (May 17) that he persuaded her to make a police report, even though she was reluctant to do so at first.

"I told her she needed to stand up for herself and prevent other people from suffering the same fate," said the man, who was testifying on the second day of the trial of alleged rapist Pramanik Liton.

The 24-year-old Bangladeshi construction worker allegedly abducted a 39-year-old Chinese national along a trail at the park at knife-point, then raped her and forced her to perform oral sex on him between 1.45pm and 3.35pm on Feb 8, 2015.

Liton purportedly returned to MacRitchie Reservoir the next evening.

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Between 9.30pm and 9.55pm on Feb 9, 2015, he allegedly stole a woman's sling bag and bit her boyfriend's finger. Two charges related to this incident - one for theft and one for causing hurt - have been stood down for now.

Liton is currently on trial for two counts of aggravated rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of abduction by illicit intercourse.

The Singaporean husband of the alleged rape victim told the High Court that she was "unlike her usual cheerful self" when she told him over the phone on the afternoon of Feb 8 that she needed help. The couple were not married at the time.

When he met her at the Mushroom Cafe at MacRitchie Reservoir, she was in a state of shock and her voice was shaky as she told him that she was "nearly killed in the forested area" and had been "violated".

The man, who cannot be named as there is a gag order on the woman's identity, said she was constantly scanning her surroundings in fear, looking out for the perpetrator.

He told the court she was initially reluctant to go to the police because she was afraid her identity would be revealed in the media and because she was not familiar with how the police in Singapore handle such cases.

Two workers at the park also took the stand to describe that she looked distraught when they came across her that afternoon.

Security guard Mohamed Nizamudin Ahamed said the woman, who spoke limited English, told him "this place is not safe" and made a strangling gesture to show what her assailant had done to her.

Two Gurkha trackers also testified how they located the crime scene and found a jackknife in the forest. A thumbprint lifted from the knife led to Liton's arrest on Feb 10, the court heard.

A day after his arrest, Liton admitted in a police statement that he had used a small knife to frighten the woman into having sex with him. He also asked for forgiveness.

But in court on Tuesday, he distanced himself from the admission, saying that the signature on the statement was not his.

The trial continues.