Man jailed 10½ years for raping, assaulting maid

Security officer, 53, started molesting niece's maid from 2016 and raped her in Nov 2017

Undeterred by her rejection of his marriage proposal, a 53-year-old security officer repeatedly molested, then raped his niece's maid in the flat they shared.

After the rape, he offered her a pair of earrings and told her not to report him before taking a nap.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was sentenced to 10½ years' jail yesterday, after he pleaded guilty to one rape charge and a sexual assault by penetration charge. Another two charges of molestation and sexual assault were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The High Court heard that the man frequently stayed over in his niece's flat, where she lived with her three children and the Indonesian maid, now 26, who started working in Singapore in June 2016.

The Singaporean man professed to "like her" a few months after she started work there, and proposed marriage thereafter.

The maid rejected his advances and marriage proposal, and told him she was married. She had treated him as an employer and called him "Pakcik", or "Uncle" in Bahasa Indonesia, said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Raja Mohan.

From then on, the man molested her when no one else was at home. After every incident, she would threaten to report him, push him aside or walk away from him, the DPP added.

However, she did not report the man as she did not think her employer, the man's niece, would believe her, said DPP Raja.

On Nov 18, 2017, the maid and the man were alone in the flat when she asked him for permission to use some muscle rub for her body ache.

A few minutes later, the man entered her room with just a towel around his waist, and offered to apply the ointment on her. She rejected him, and was applying it on herself when he forcibly took over.

He then pushed her onto her bed, where he sexually assaulted and raped the 1.42m tall maid as she repeatedly told him to stop.

"Due to the accused's body weight as well as the way she was restrained by the accused, the victim was powerless to escape despite her best efforts to struggle and push the accused off her body," said DPP Raja.

The maid fled the flat while he took a nap, and asked a passer-by to contact the police. The man was arrested by the police later that day upon his return to his niece's home, after going fishing in Punggol.

Describing the man's actions as "utterly abhorrent", DPP Raja said: "Ultimately, it is the victim's abased state that rendered her exceptionally vulnerable."

In mitigation, defence counsel Kalidass Murugaiyan said the man "sincerely regrets his lapse in control" and harbours no illusions as to his liability in the matter.

The man said he had been "spiritually disturbed" at the time of the offences, claiming he had encountered a supernatural entity while working.

During the sentencing, Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim said she has given some weight to the fact that the man had pleaded guilty.

However, a "clear message must be sent", the judge added.

For rape, the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned. However, as he is aged above 50, he was given six months' jail in lieu of caning, which brought his jail term to a total of 10½ years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 19, 2019, with the headline 'Man jailed 10½ years for raping, assaulting maid'. Print Edition | Subscribe