Jailed: Man who attempted to rape maid twice, sexually assaulted her

·Senior Reporter
·5 min read
A woman crouched in shadow. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
A woman crouched in shadow. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — While his wife was away, a man attempted to violate his domestic helper multiple times, even buying condoms for the purpose.

Within a month in 2019, the 68-year-old man sought to rape the 27-year-old Indonesian twice, only failing because he had erectile dysfunction. He then sexually abused her repeatedly. 

The man was jailed for twelve-and-a-half years' on Monday (18 October) after pleading guilty to one count each of attempting to rape and sexually penetrating the helper. Another six charges, including attempted rape, molest and sexual assault by penetration, were considered for her sentencing. 

She cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her identity.

The maid began working for the man on 9 May 2019 in her first assignment in Singapore. She was tasked with general household chores and to care for the man’s granddaughter when the girl visited. 

She slept on a mattress in a bedroom while the wife and the man shared the master bedroom. She was instructed by the man not to lock the room door, as the man’s wife needed to retrieve her belongings from the room.

The victim returned to her room after a shower with a towel wrapped around her lower body as she had forgotten to bring her pants to the toilet.

Man bought condoms in preparation

On 7 June 2019, the man bought several condoms as he wanted to have sex with the victim.

That day, the victim returned to her room after a shower with a towel wrapped around her lower body as she had forgotten to bring her pants to the toilet.

She passed by her employer, who immediately returned to his room to retrieve a condom. He wanted to have sex with her while his wife was not at home.

As the victim was changing in her room, the man knocked on her door. Thinking that her employer needed something urgently, the maid opened the door and the man entered. He told her she smelled nice before hugging her.

The maid tried to push her employer away, but the man kissed her neck and pinned her body down with her arms behind her. The man then took the condom from his pocket and attempted to rape the maid but was unable to do so due to his erectile dysfunction. He sexually assaulted her instead.

The maid eventually broke free and hid in the toilet until the man returned to his bedroom.

The maid thought that the incident was a one-off and did not report it to anyone. She kept her silence as she needed to financially support her family. However, she decided to lock her bedroom door at night from then on, despite being told not to.

This did not faze the man, who retrieved a spare key from the storeroom to enter the maid’s room one night. He tried to unsuccessfully to rape her again before sexually assaulting her.

Maid managed to capture incident

Unable to tolerate the assaults, the maid decided to contact a friend, a fellow domestic helper in Singapore, for help on 29 June 2019. The friend provided the contact details of a staff member from the Centre for Domestic Employees (CDE), and added that the victim needed proof of the sexual assault. 

The victim remained reluctant to lodge a report as she feared that this would upset the man’s wife, who had treated her kindly. The maid also hoped that the man would stop his attacks.

On 1 July 2019, the maid felt discomfort in her stomach and decided to apply medicated oil and rest in her room. The man, who was the only other person at home, entered while the maid was lying on her mattress and asked her if she needed to see a doctor.

The maid declined to see a doctor, prompting the man to offer to apply medicated oil on her. The maid rejected this, but the man then held her down and sexually assaulted her. 

At this point, the maid recalled her friend’s advice and turned on her phone to film the assault. She managed to capture a portion of the incident by placing it near the mattress. She then fled to the toilet to escape the man’s advances.

Later that afternoon, the man entered her room again to ask if she needed medication, but ended up sexually assaulting her again. He promised he would stop his actions before he left.

The maid called the CDE staff member and provided the video she had captured. The police were called and the man was arrested. He was sent for an erectile and impotency test and was found to likely have vasculogenic erectile dysfunction. 

Defence submits testimonials of accused's good character

The man’s lawyers, Sunil Sudheesan and Diana Ngiam, argued that the man’s offences were more opportunistic than premeditated, calling him "an old man with a good record" whose "uncharacteristic behaviour" was triggered by circumstances.

“He certainly accepts responsibility for this actions. But it’s quite clear to me that this is an accused person who acted out of character for that one bizarre month,” said Sudheesan, who claimed that his client would not offend again. 

Sudheesan also submitted testimonials attesting to the man’s kindness with previous maids, whom he would go out of his way to help. He ensured that they had the means to stay in touch with their families and would research the best value mobile plans for them. One of the helpers even expressed interest in returning to work for the family.  

The prosecution disagreed that the offences were opportunistic, pointing out that the man had taken calculated steps to find windows of opportunity when he was alone with the victim. 

Delivering his judgement, Justice Pang Khang Chau said the facts disclosed showed a sufficient level of premeditation to render it a significant aggravating factor.

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