SINGAPORE - A man invited a teenager to his home but she stipulated a staircase landing outside his flat as the meeting point as she treated him only as a friend.
The man, Johnson Hong Siang Yeu, had met the 17-year-old student via online dating app OkCupid. They became close and she later confided in him about her personal problems.
When they met, Hong suggested going to his bedroom as it had air-conditioning and she agreed. He later raped her.
On Tuesday (April 19), the 22-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to seven years' jail and given four strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to a rape charge.
He was also fined $2,000 for meeting his victim during the circuit breaker.
There is a gag order against publication of any details that may lead to her identification.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yeow Xuan told the court that Hong got to know the victim sometime near the end of April 2020.
The pair soon built a rapport and started chatting daily. She regarded Hong as a trusted friend, sharing her past relationship experiences, family troubles and personal struggles.
He invited her to his home and they met on May 9, 2020.
After about an hour at the staircase landing, he suggested moving to his air-conditioned bedroom. The teenager felt sweaty at that point and agreed to do so.
She sat at a corner of the mattress to use her phone while he used his laptop.
He offered to give her a back massage, which lasted for a few minutes, after which she fell asleep while lying on her side.
The sight of the victim asleep aroused Hong and he hugged her from the back before pulling her shorts and underwear to the side and touching the area near her private parts.
DPP Yeow said: "The victim jolted awake and immediately told the accused to stop while shoving his hand away."
Undeterred, Hong performed a sex act on her while covering her mouth and urging her to trust him.
He grew increasingly aroused and raped her.
"Throughout the episode, the victim struggled to push the accused off her... and was crying and pleading with him to stop," DPP Yeow said.
Hong eventually did so after a few minutes and apologised to the victim. She continued to cry and eventually left his bedroom to use the toilet.
She left Hong's home at or around 4.15am and took a private-hire vehicle.
About an hour later, the accused apologised to the victim via a Telegram message for raping her and implored her to put matters behind her.
She disclosed to a friend that she had been raped by Hong but was hesitant about lodging a police report out of fear of reprisal from her parents.
At her friend's insistence, she eventually did so on May 11, 2020.
In her written sentencing submissions, DPP Yeow said Hong had abused the victim's trust and faith in him.
She added: "The victim had, on multiple occasions, laid down clear boundaries between herself and the accused. She placed significant trust in the accused's assurances that they were just friends and was willing to follow him to his home on the night of the offences despite her clear reservations.
"In turn, he utterly betrayed the faith reposed in him by making advances on her while she was asleep and subsequently sexually penetrating her."
For rape, Hong could have been jailed for up to 20 years, fined or caned.