Rope-skipping coach found guilty of raping young student

Roger Yue Jr (pictured) was convicted of two counts of statutory rape and five counts of sexual penetration of a minor on Feb 20, 2018.
Roger Yue Jr (pictured) was convicted of two counts of statutory rape and five counts of sexual penetration of a minor on Feb 20, 2018.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A rope-skipping coach was found guilty on Tuesday (Feb 20) of sexual offences against a student who was a minor.

While the judge found the girl's testimony to be believable and credible to some extent, he found it not sufficient to convict Roger Yue Jr, 59.

Instead, it was Yue's own words that did him in.

What sealed Yue's fate was a statement he had given to the police, as well as an interview with a psychiatrist.

These revealed that Yue considered himself to be in a relationship with the girl, and that he committed various acts on her, including using objects to sexually violate her.

The offences took place between 2008 and 2010 when the girl was between 13 and 14 years old.

The victim, who is now 22, cannot be named because of a gag order to protect her identity.

She got to know Yue in 2006 when he was appointed to coach her primary school's rope-skipping team.

He later invited her to join a private competitive rope-skipping team and also got her to help him as he coached teams from several schools.

She said Yue sexually abused her until late 2010. Eventually, she told her polytechnic lecturer and counsellor what Yue had done to her. She made a police report on April 28, 2014.

Delivering his decision on Tuesday, Justice Aedit Abdullah said the fact that the victim did not tell anyone in authority about the incidents till about five years later "gave some pause".

 

The victim's behaviour in continuing with training and maintaining contact with Yue may also seem odd, given that she was being sexually abused repeatedly.

However, the High Court judge accepted that victims of sexual abuse may not behave in a stereotypical way.

While early reporting gives strong support to the case against an accused person, a delayed report did not necessarily suffer from reduced credibility although it may make it more difficult to prove a case beyond reasonable doubt, said the judge.

Justice Aedit added that a juvenile cannot be expected to always react in the same way that is expected of an average adult, that is, to report an assault as soon as possible.

"The thinking process, assumptions and viewpoint of a juvenile victim may lead to a course of action that may appear unreasonable or improbable. The court must always be mindful of such possible explanations, and should not measure a child by adult standards," said the judge.

Yue was convicted of two counts of statutory rape and five counts of sexual penetration of a minor after the court accepted the victim's evidence that the sexual acts were committed through "what was at least cajoling, if not pressure" by the accused.

Yue, who is on bail of $70,000, is expected to return to court on March 21 for sentencing arguments. The maximum jail term for statutory rape is 20 years' jail.