SINGAPORE: A 37-year-old man was sentenced to almost 11 years’ jail and 11 strokes of the cane on Tuesday (Jun 11) for sexually assaulting a 17-year-old girl he had just met and who is described as having “extremely low” intelligence quotient (IQ).

The man pleaded guilty earlier this month to one count each of sexual assault by penetration and molestation. One charge of molest was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The offender, victim and witnesses cannot be named under a court order to prevent the identification of the victim.

In handing down a sentence of 10 years, 11 months and two weeks’ along with 11 strokes of the cane, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan described the victim as being highly vulnerable due to her intellectual condition.

“The accused knew the victim is intellectually abnormal. He took advantage of this fact and sexually exploited her. The sexual exploitation was egregious,” he said.

The judge noted that the man had persisted in his actions despite the victim at one point showing her disapproval.

“His sexual exploitation caused her clear distress and trauma.”


According to court documents, the victim suffers from “moderately-severe” intellectual disability. She is assessed to have an IQ of 44, which falls within the “extremely low” range of intelligence.

She was 17 years old at the time of the offence in June 2020.

The teenager had a close relationship with her mother’s friend, a 34-year-old woman identified in court documents as W1, and the woman’s 36-year-old boyfriend, W2.

Sometime in the afternoon of Jun 29, 2020, the victim texted W1 saying that she was bored. W1 and W2 then brought the victim to their unit.

That night at about 9pm, the offender, a friend of W1 and W2 who regularly visited their home to have drinks, came over with beer. This was when he met the victim for the first time.

He was aware that the victim was intellectually abnormal as his two friends had informed him that the victim was “special”.

“The accused also observed this from his interactions with the victim,” said Deputy Public Prosecutors James Chew and Tin Shu Min.

Two hours later, the offender asked the victim to accompany him to a nearby shop. W1 instead proposed that all four of them went together as she was “cautious” about the victim’s safety, owing to her intellectual disability.

Upon returning to the unit, W1 needed to use the toilet. Her boyfriend W2 assisted her, as she was wheelchair-bound.

While the two were in the toilet for “several minutes”, the victim went into the bedroom and lay down on the bed. 

The offender followed her into the room and removed his jeans as they were wet, according to court documents. He wore a pair of shorts and lay beside the victim.

There, he began molesting her, before pulling down her shorts and panties to perform sexual acts on her.

When the victim tried to pull up her shorts and panties, the man pulled them down again and continued his offending.

“Throughout this time, the victim felt scared. She kept quiet and did not react to the accused’s actions,” said the prosecutors, adding that the victim also suffered physical pain due to the man’s actions.

The man stopped his actions only when he heard the toilet door opening.

W1 later saw that both the man and the victim were lying on the bed. She also saw that the victim was covering her face, with her shorts slightly pulled down, while the man was wearing only shorts.

Seeing that the victim was crying, W1 lay on the bed and hugged her. The victim then typed on her handphone and showed it to W1, communicating to the woman that the offender had violated her.

The victim and offender slept over in the unit for the night before the victim left the next morning.

W1 ran into the victim’s mother on Aug 4, 2020, and informed her about what happened to her daughter. The mother reported the matter to the police the next day. The man was arrested the same day.

For sexual assault with penetration, the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and also punished with a fine or caning.

For outrage of modesty, the man could have been jailed for up to two years, caned, fined or be given any combination of the punishments.

This story was originally published in TODAY. 


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