Jail, caning for man who raped unconscious woman at chalet after friends egged him on

Yap Chun Chieh had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and one charge of outrage of modesty.
Yap Chun Chieh had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and one charge of outrage of modesty.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A night club manager, who raped an unconscious woman at a chalet after being egged on by his friends, was sentenced to 12 years and three months' jail and 10 strokes of the cane on Monday (March 29).

Yap Chun Chieh, 41, had earlier pleaded guilty to one charge of rape and one charge of outrage of modesty.

He was among a group of men who had taken the victim, then 24 years old, to a chalet at D'Resort @ Downtown East on the morning of Sept 17, 2018.

The victim, who was severely intoxicated, was raped by Yap and sexually assaulted by Tay Boon Huat, 29, while Gan Soon Chai, 35, furtively filmed the attack on his phone.

Tay had earlier been sentenced to 10 years and three months' jail and five strokes of the cane, while Gan was sentenced to 15 months' jail and a fine of $20,800.

In sentencing Yap on Monday, Justice See Kee Oon noted that his offence was "opportunistic". Yap was emboldened by the knowledge that the victim was so intoxicated that she was in no position to resist his advances, the judge added.

He rejected as a mitigating factor that Yap was easily influenced by his peers.

The defence had argued that Yap had a mild neurocognitive disorder due to a bout of meningoencephalitis, or inflammation of the brain, in his youth which impaired his judgment and decision-making process.

Justice See said Yap was able to function and adapt and was able to understand the nature and consequences of his conduct.

The court earlier heard that Tay booked the chalet for his friends from Sept 16 to 17, 2018.

After midnight on Sept 17, four of them travelled to Club V5 Tycoon at Ming Arcade in Cuscaden Road.

The woman arrived at about 3.35am with her friends, after having had drinks at another club, and proceeded to have more alcohol.

At about 6am, one of the men, Yong Chun Hong, 32, spent about 15 minutes alone with her in the toilet. The woman had trouble walking on her own so Yong passed her over to Yap, telling him to send her home by taxi.

Both Yong and Yap worked at the club as managers-cum-bouncers.

On the drive back to the chalet, Yong and his friends spotted Yap with the woman. Yong invited Yap to join them at the chalet and pulled the woman by her arm into the car.

During the journey, Tay touched her breasts, and Yap joined in.

At the chalet, Yong and Tay told Yap words to the effect of "the woman is already lying here and you still are not having sex with her. What are you waiting for?". Yap then raped the woman.

At the same time, Tay laid down near the victim's head and forced himself on her.

At about 9am, Yap helped the woman get dressed and took her home in a taxi, while the other men remained at the chalet.

When they reached her block of flats, the woman was asleep and Yap decided to take her to the nearest hotel.

During the hotel stay, he touched her breasts. At about 7pm that day, the woman was startled to wake up next to a stranger. She paid for the room after Yap told her it cost $70. They then went their separate ways.

Back home, the woman knew that something had happened to her but did not know what to do.

That night, she went back to the club to talk to a friend about the incident and recognised Yap.

Days later, she approached Yap, who apologised for having sex with her.

She eventually told her mother about what had happened to her and made a police report.