Man accused of raping woman 3 times in 20 mins

Calling it a "brazen case", prosecutors yesterday proceeded against Singaporean Lim Choon Beng, 30, on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of outrage of modesty.
Calling it a "brazen case", prosecutors yesterday proceeded against Singaporean Lim Choon Beng, 30, on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of outrage of modesty. PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

In a span of 20 minutes, a 26-year-old man allegedly raped a 24-year-old woman three times at three different spots along a stretch of road from Martin Road to River Valley Close, in the wee hours of Chinese New Year's Eve in 2013.

The woman's torn panties were later found strewn among vegetation at the first location, while the zipper of her blood-stained dress was found to be dislodged.

Calling it a "brazen case", prosecutors yesterday proceeded against Singaporean Lim Choon Beng, now 30, on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of outrage of modesty.

Lim, who is in remand, pleaded not guilty and is contesting all seven charges in a trial scheduled for eight days in the High Court.

He claims he does not remember his actions. He is defended by Mr Anand Nalachandran under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

The first to take the stand is the alleged victim, a performing artist from China, who testified behind closed doors. A court order bars her identity from being made public. The Straits Times understands she stopped working here after the incident but returned for the trial.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lin Yinbing told the court in her opening address that the victim, now 27, will give an account of how she was waylaid on the street on Feb 9, 2013.

Lim allegedly molested and raped her at 3.15am in Martin Road in front of the Watermark condominium. Ten minutes later, he allegedly raped and sexually assaulted her in front of the Robertson 100 condominium. At about 3.35am, he allegedly raped and sexually assaulted her near lamp-post number 16 along River Valley Close.

Witnesses lined up to testify for the prosecution include an independent eyewitness who called the police after seeing Lim on top of the crying woman, a motorist who picked up and drove her in search of a police station, and a friend of the alleged victim who received a call from her while she was in the car, telling him she had been raped.

The prosecution will also submit forensic evidence to prove its case. The DPP told the court that Lim's DNA was found on the woman's bra, her blood was found on his clothes, and soil was found on their clothes.

The maximum punishment for each count of rape and sexual assault is 20 years' jail, as well as caning or a fine. The trial continues today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 04, 2016, with the headline 'Man accused of raping woman 3 times in 20 mins'. Print Edition | Subscribe