Driver gets 16 years' jail, 24 strokes for raping teen he just met

Within an hour of being introduced to a 19-year-old teenage mother, a 27-year-old truck driver violently raped her in his flat.

Muhammad Iskandar Ismail, now 28, was sentenced to 16 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane yesterday after he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration. A fourth charge of aggravated molestation was taken into consideration.

The High Court heard that the victim bumped into a casual acquaintance at the void deck of her block at about 10am on Aug 16 last year.

The acquaintance was with Muhammad Iskandar and introduced them. After a short chat, they exchanged phone numbers and she went home. The victim, who cannot be named under a court order, soon received a WhatsApp message from Muhammad Iskandar, asking if she wanted to hang out with him. She agreed and at about 10.30am, she went to his flat in the same neighbourhood and had her breakfast while he took a shower.

After he finished, he sat beside her on a mat in the living room and asked after her. After she told him she was a single mother of a one-year-old boy with heart problems, he put his arm around her shoulder and said he pitied her.

She told him off when he went closer to her and touched her shoulder. He apologised but did not move away. Instead, he pulled her towards him, touching her and hugging her tightly.

She refused his demand for sex and made excuses to go home, but he said she could leave only at 11.50am and took away her phone. He pushed her down and sat on her chest. She struggled and shouted at him to stop, but he slapped her left cheek and throttled her.

Frightened that he would kill her, she told him she would give him whatever he wanted and begged him to stop strangling her.

He then made her perform oral sex on him and dragged her to a mattress, where he sexually violated her and raped her. After the sexual attack, he apologised and begged her not to report him to the police.

She left at about noon and told the acquaintance about the rape when she saw him downstairs, but he begged her not to tell anyone.

She then looked for her former boyfriend, who took her to make a police report.

Muhammad Iskandar was arrested shortly before 9pm at Woodlands Checkpoint when he tried to flee to his mother's home in Johor Baru after getting a call from the police.

A medical examination found multiple bruises on the victim's neck, shoulder, arm and below her left eye. A psychiatric report found that her IQ of 71 was in the borderline range and her level of adaptive functioning - how well a person can handle the common demands of life - was assessed to be in the borderline-to-low average range.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on July 11, 2017, with the headline 'Driver gets 16 years' jail, 24 strokes for raping teen he just met'. Print Edition | Subscribe