Malaysian man accused of raping ex-girlfriend cleared after court finds reasonable doubt

SINGAPORE - A 43-year-old man accused of raping his former girlfriend in their Housing Board flat was acquitted on Friday (June26) after the High Court found that reasonable doubt remained and it was unsafe to convict him.

The man and the woman, now 31, are Malaysians working in Singapore who got into a relationship in 2012 and lived together in the rented flat.

Their relationship soured in 2017, after the man was retrenched, and the woman told the man that she wanted to break up.

However, there is some dispute over their relationship status at the time of the alleged rape on Aug 6, 2017.

She alleged that when she returned to the flat that day, he sought reconciliation and when she rejected him, he became violent and raped her.

She said that he ripped her clothes off, slapped her, pinned her down and tried to strangle her.

He then took her to a nearby clinic, where she sought help from a doctor and clinic assistant.

The man, who was defended by Ms Megan Chia, contended that they had consensual sex. He denied trying to strangle her, saying that he had given her love bites on her neck.

Ms Chia argued there was no conclusive medical evidence that the bruises on the woman were caused by attempted strangulation.

The forensic evidence on the damage to the clothes was also not conclusive, she said.

On Friday, Justice Pang Khang Chau said the defence had successfully raised a number of inconsistencies in the woman's actions and her testimony.

"I find that these inconsistencies affected her credibility, and together with the inconclusive nature of the forensic and medical evidence, that leaves me with reasonable doubt over the guilt of the accused," he said.

Although the man had sent more than 60 text messages apologising to the woman, the judge said none of them confessed to rape.

The judge also noted that the man did not flee and had in fact volunteered information to the police that he had had sex with the woman.

Prosecutors indicated in court that they would file an appeal against the acquittal and would not object to the man being granted bail pending appeal.

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