Man, 20, has charge of raping relative eight years ago withdrawn

SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old man accused of raping a young female relative had the rape charge withdrawn in a district court on Friday (Feb 18).

He was released from custody after being in remand for about 11 months after the court gave him a discharge amounting to an acquittal.

This means he cannot be charged again for the same offence.

In a statement, a spokesman for the Attorney-General's Chambers (AGC) told The Straits Times that the man had been charged with rape for the incident which allegedly took place in 2014, when he was 12 or 13 years old.

There is a gag order preventing the publishing of any information likely to lead to the identification of the victim and the man.

According to the spokesman, the prosecution directed the police to withdraw the charge after assessing the facts and circumstances of the case.

The man will receive a three-year conditional warning instead for a charge of outrage of modesty and a charge of sexual penetration of a minor under 14, which happened around 2014 and 2015. He was between 12 and 14 years old at that time.

The AGC spokesman said: "The charges against the accused may be revived should he re-offend within his 36-month conditional warning period or breach any of the conditions to the warning."

The court heard on Friday that he had been in remand since March 27 last year.

The man appeared in court via video link and was represented by lawyers Cathy Pereira and Stephanie Sim from TSMP Law Corporation.

Speaking to ST after the charge was withdrawn, the man said he was happy and relieved and that he was grateful to the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme for his lawyers, and to the prosecution for withdrawing the charge.

"I was at my breaking point in remand. I can finally move on with my life," he added.

For rape, an offender can be jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.