Two youths get jail, caning for gang rape

They are part of a group of 5 accused of sexual assault on 18-year-old girl in hotel room

Two youths, who are part of a group of five young men accused of sexually assaulting a drunk 18-year-old girl in a hotel room, were yesterday sentenced to jail and caning.

Muhammad Fadly Abdull Wahab, 20, and Muhammad Hazly Mohamad Halimi, 23, admitted to their roles in the 2014 gang-rape.

Fadly was sentenced to 13 years' jail and eight strokes of the cane.

He had persuaded the victim to attend a party at The Duxton Hotel, bought an extra bottle of vodka to get her drunk, and then plied her with alcohol.

As the unconscious victim lay undressed on the bed, Fadly took a "wefie" with her and Hazly, then sent the photo to a friend to brag about it.

After raping the victim, he encouraged Hazly to do so as well.

Hazly was sentenced to 11 years' jail and six strokes of the cane.

The other three accused - Ridhaudin Ridhwan Bakri, 22; Muhammad Faris Ramlee, 22; and Asep Ardiansyah, 22 - are contesting their respective charges in a three-week trial scheduled to start next week.

The High Court heard that Fadly and the victim met through a mutual friend at Zouk in October 2013 and exchanged phone numbers.

On Jan 25, 2014, Fadly invited the victim to a friend's birthday party in a room at the hotel.

She was initially reluctant as she had made plans to go to Zouk with a male friend, but accepted after Fadly agreed to let her friend come along.

Fadly then texted Hazly, telling him that he wanted to get the girl drunk. Hazly told him to buy one more bottle of alcohol.

When the victim arrived at midnight, she was introduced to the partygoers, including the three other accused, who she had not met before.

She became sick after her fourth cup of vodka, falling off a sofa and collapsing.

At about 1.15am, the other partygoers - including the victim's friend - left for Zouk while Fadly and Hazly volunteered to stay behind to look after her.

After cleaning her up, they put her on the bed, posed for a photo, then raped her.

The other three returned to the room before 4am.

Fadly said he saw two of them take the victim to the bathroom and take turns to spend about 20 minutes in there with her.

The girl left with Fadly and Hazly at about 10am.

After they parted, she tried to contact Fadly to ask what happened that night, but realised his contact details had been deleted from her phone. He had also blocked her on Instagram and Twitter.

The court heard that when she left the hotel, the girl recalled fragments of what happened and felt ashamed. Back home, she also noticed blood in her urine.

Two days later, her friend called the police to report the rape.

Yesterday, Deputy Public Prosecutors Charlene Tay Chia and Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz sought sentences to signal that intoxicated victims of sexual assault are no less deserving of protection than those who are fully conscious.

Fadly's lawyer Ismail Hamid noted that his client did not coerce the victim to drink and that she was no "naive country bumpkin".

Hazly's lawyer Mohamed Muzammil Mohamed noted that the "few minutes of indiscretion" had erased his good record and bright future.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 30, 2016, with the headline 'Two youths get jail, caning for gang rape'. Print Edition | Subscribe