SINGAPORE - 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 assault, 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 his victim, was sentenced to 10½ years' jail on Monday (March 18), 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 court heard that the man frequently stayed over in his niece's flat, where she lived with her three children and 26-year-old Indonesian maid.
The Singaporean professed to "like" the maid 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, he added.
However, she never reported 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 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.
He later offered a pair of earrings to her and told her not to report him, before taking a nap.
The maid fled from 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, as he had encountered a supernatural entity while working.
During his sentencing, Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim said she had given some weight to the fact that the man had pleaded guilty.
However, a "clear message must be sent", she 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.