SINGAPORE - A 68-year-old man with erectile dysfunction who tried to rape a domestic worker less than a month after she started working for the family was sentenced to 12½ years' jail on Monday (Oct 18).
The man pleaded guilty to one charge of attempted rape and one charge of sexual assault by penetration committed in June and July 2019 against the Indonesian helper, then 25.
Another six charges, for various sexual offences, were taken into consideration. He cannot be caned as he is over the age of 50.
The High Court heard that the maid began working for the man, then 66, on May 9, 2019, helping with household chores and caring for his granddaughter as and when the child was dropped off by her parents.
As the man was unemployed while his wife worked six days a week, the maid was frequently left alone in the flat with him.
On the morning of June 7, 2019, he retrieved a condom he had bought earlier and knocked on her door after the maid went back to her room after her shower.
The woman opened the door as she thought the man needed something urgently.
On entering her room, he commented that she smelled nice and hugged her.
The maid resisted his advances but he pushed her onto her mattress and pinned her down.
The man tried to have sex with her, but was unable to do so. He then carried out other sexual acts on her.
The victim managed to break free and hid in the toilet until the man left her room.
She decided to remain silent as she hoped it was a one-off incident and because she needed to support her family.
The maid decided to lock her door at night, but the man unlocked it with a spare key in the middle of the night and again tried to rape her. Court documents did not state when this occurred.
On June 29, she sought help from a fellow domestic worker, who gave her details for a contact at the Centre for Domestic Employees but advised her to get proof of the assaults.
She was initially hesitant to lodge a report, as the man's wife was kind to her.
On July 1, the maid was resting in her room when the man came in and held her down.
She reached for her mobile phone and managed to film part of the incident before she ran out of the room.
Later that afternoon, the man sexually violated her again.
On the same day, the maid decided to seek help from the centre and provided the video. The police were called and the man was arrested.
A medical report stated he likely suffered from erectile dysfunction.
On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Angela Ang sought 15½ years' jail, arguing that the man had leveraged his position as the victim's employer and sought out windows of opportunity to carry out his misdeeds.
Defence counsel Sunil Sudheesan asked for a 10-year term. He argued that it was the first time that the man, who has had previous domestic helpers, had made such an "uncharacteristic mistake".