Man acquitted of attempted rape admits to molesting woman; he was earlier convicted of raping teen

SINGAPORE - A man who had earlier been acquitted of attempting to rape a woman while she was intoxicated by pulling down her pants in a handicapped toilet was on Thursday (Dec 9) convicted of molesting her.

The woman, 27, did not realise she had been a victim until police investigations into another case of rape of a teenager involving the same accused brought the offence to light.

Both of Wong Zhun Siong's victims were intoxicated at the time of the offences.

The High Court heard that Wong, 27, had used criminal force to outrage the modesty of the 27-year-old in April 2018 in a toilet in Clarke Quay, River Valley. He pleaded guilty to the charge.

Wong met the 27-year-old victim at the Zouk nightclub before taking her to a toilet where he partially pulled down her pants and took photos of her backside.

During the taxi ride to his home, she realised her mobile phone was missing and they returned to Clarke Quay, and ended up going their separate ways.

She had no recollection of the incident and learnt what had happened only when the police contacted her while investigating the case involving the teenager.

On Nov 24, Wong was found guilty of raping the intoxicated teenager, 18, in a separate incident in the early morning of March 2019.

The teenager, her boyfriend and their colleagues had gone to F Club in Clarke Quay, where she had "substantial alcoholic drinks". After leaving the club, her boyfriend's Grab ride arrived first and he left.

Wong spotted her standing alone, approached her and later took her home in a taxi.

Surveillance footage showed her vomiting and staggering.

Justice Mavis Chionh rejected Wong's defence that they had consensual sex and found that he was aware that she did not have any capacity to give consent.

On Thursday, Justice Chionh agreed with the prosecution that it would be "in the public's interest to frame the new charge of outrage of modesty" since the rape offence was committed "against a different victim on a different occasion".

Defence lawyer Gregory Fong argued that outrage of modesty cases would usually entail the accused touching the victim, and there was no evidence of his client doing so.

But Justice Chionh questioned if the lawyer was of the opinion that his client did not assault or use criminal force to undress the victim.

Under the law, whoever assaults or uses criminal force on any person knowing that he would likely outrage the person's modesty is guilty of an offence.

Wong is scheduled to be sentenced on Feb 3 for both offences.

For molest, Wong faces up to two years' jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of these punishments.

For rape, he faces up to 20 years' jail and a fine or caning.

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