Trial starts for man who allegedly raped woman 3 times in 3 places in 20 minutes

Singaporean Lim Choon Beng, 30, will stand trial on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of outrage of modesty.
Singaporean Lim Choon Beng, 30, will stand trial on three counts of rape, three counts of sexual assault and one count of outrage of modesty.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - 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 Martin Road leading up to River Valley Close in the wee hours of the eve of Chinese New Year in 2013.

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

Calling it a "brazen case", prosecutors on Tuesday (May 3) opened its case 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 pleaded not guilty and is contesting all seven charges in a trial scheduled for eight days in the High Court. He claims that he does not remember his actions. He is defended by Mr Anand Nalachandran under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme.

The first witness to take the stand is the alleged victim, a performing artiste from China, who testified behind closed doors. A court order bars her identity from being made public.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lin Yinbing said in her opening statement that the victim, now 27, will give an account of how she was waylaid and sexually assaulted on the public street.

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 the distressed woman and drove her in search of a police station, as well as a friend of the alleged victim who received a call from her while she was in the stranger's car, telling him that she had been raped.

The prosecution will also be submitting forensic evidence to prove its case against Lim. Lim's DNA was said to be found on the woman's bra, her blood on his clothes, and soil on their clothes.