Harsher sentences for 2 sex offenders

Two 30-year-old men who invited an old school friend to a gathering and then sexually violated her while she was in a drunken stupor had their sentences increased by the High Court yesterday.

The prosecution had appealed for harsher sentences for the duo, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

The first man, who sexually penetrated and molested the victim, had his sentence of seven years' jail and nine strokes of the cane raised to 9½ years and 16 strokes. He works in the entertainment industry.

The other man, a technical specialist, who molested the woman and took 27 compromising photos of her, had his 19-month jail term bumped up to 25 months. He was also given three strokes of the cane, from none before.

Judicial Commissioner See Kee Oon disagreed with the district judge who found the pair's acts were merely opportunistic. The "obvious premeditation" on their part in committing the offences over a sustained duration justified higher sentences, he said.

Both men were convicted in November 2014 after a 49-day trial.

In April 2009, the pair invited the woman to the first man's flat for drinks. Believing that other former school friends would also be there, she accepted the invitation.

The woman testified that she had blacked out after a series of drinking games. She said she felt her body being touched but was unable to move or scream.

After they were convicted and sentenced, the pair appealed to the High Court. The second man later withdrew his appeal.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 18, 2016, with the headline 'Harsher sentences for 2 sex offenders'. Print Edition | Subscribe