Transgender cleared of 6 remaining charges after given stern warning

Zunika Ahmad was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal on her remaining six charges.
Zunika Ahmad was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal on her remaining six charges.ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - A transgender who is serving 10 years' jail for sexually abusing a teenage girl was on Tuesday (April 11) given a discharge amounting to an acquittal on her remaining six charges.

Zunika Ahmad, 40, who is biologically female but lives as a man, was given a stern warning on Feb 23 for each of the six charges, including causing hurt and fraudulently using as genuine a forged Indonesian passport.

This brings the entire matter to an end.

The Court of Appeal had sentenced Zunika to 10 years' jail after finding that a woman can be just as guilty as a man for the crime of sexual penetration of a minor.

It overturned the High Court's acquittal of Zunika who had pleaded guilty.

In sentencing her, the apex court took into account as aggravating factors the number of offences and that she had abused her position of trust.

 
 
 

But the court also considered that the offences arose against the backdrop of a genuine romantic relationship developing between her and the victim, that Zunika was not a serial offender who targeted multiple victims, and that there was a low risk she would reoffend.

Diagnosed with gender dysphoria, Zunika speaks, dresses and behaves like a man.

She was so convincing in passing herself off as an Indonesian man that her two wives did not know their "husband" was a woman until she abused the girl who lived in the neighbourhood.

The girl and her siblings, who were abandoned by their mother, had started going to Zunika's flat in 2011 to hang out with her "daughter".

Between March 2012 and December 2013, Zunika had regular consensual sex with the girl, who was between 13 and 14 years old, using a sex aid.

Ms N Sudha Nair represented Zunika who appeared via Changi Women's Prison's video-link.

Five of Zunika's family members, including her parents, turned up in court for the case.

Correction note: The story was edited for clarity.