Every now and then, unfortunately a little too often, unpleasant news about sexual misconduct pop up on the news to reinforce one very crucial value.
It’s that one should never take the importance of consent lightly.
This article contains descriptions that some people may be uncomfortable with, so please proceed with due caution.
Man Tried To Impregnate Ex-Fiancee Without Consent
On 22 Feb, Monday, a 22-year-old man was sentenced to eight years of jail and six strokes of the cane by the High Court’s order for raping his ex-fiancee. He pleaded guilty to one count of the offence and another charge for house trespass was also considered.
At the time of the offence, which occured in June 2019, he was only 20 years old.
In order to protect the victim, who was 21 at the time and 23 now, the man cannot be named.
The two were a couple who started dating since November 2017 and got engaged by February 2019, before the relationship started to break down, prompting the female victim to call the engagement off three months later.
Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) James Chew and Grace Teo told the court that he tried to get back with her after that, but faced rejection.
She was alone in her flat on the 15 June 2019, for it was the weekend and her parents frequently went over to Johor Bahru then – a fact that the man knew.
He was also made aware of the situation as she told him she would be alone at home on the weekend while they were chatting on WhatsApp, discussing about her returning his belongings to him.
Wanting to buy groceries from a nearby mall, she left the house only to see the man at the void deck of her block unexpectedly, where he insisted on following her there.
They continued to argue about their relationship and he left when she told him not to follow her anymore. She returned home after that, leaving her main door and gate unlocked.
He Entered Her House Later
“Let me move on,” she sent him on their WhatsApp chat while still arguing later that night around 9pm, saying that she felt sick and wished for him not to disturb her anymore.
She heard him opening her main door while she was in her bedroom.
He then came into her bedroom, continuing to plead with her to get back together with him as she got up and moved to the living room, refusing and asking him to leave.
Threatening to make her pregnant so she had no choice but to rekindle their relationship, he grabbed her arm and pulled her back into her bedroom where he pushed her onto the bed. She had said “no” and stood up to get away from him, but was unable to.
Despite her unsuccessful attempts to push him away, he raped her without using a condom. She then went into the bathroom to wash up while crying after he let her go.
He followed her into the bathroom and offered to help her wash up, saying that she shouldn’t cry and promising to help her abort the baby if she became pregnant. Subsequently, he left her house.
Victim Was “Very Emotionally Affected”
The court heard from the DPPs that the victim was “very emotionally affected” by the rape and was very fearful that she would end up pregnant.
It led her to send him a text at around midnight with the thought of committing suicide, accompanied with a video of her holding a knife between her thighs and directing it towards her private parts.
She confided in a friend the next day, saying that she felt like dying and kept pleading with God, asking why he did not protect her. A police report was filed at the Woodlands West Neighbourhood Police Centre afterwards upon the insistence of her friend.
For causing psychological distress to the victim and engaging in such a morally wrong act, the prosecutors sought a jail term of at least 10 years and six strokes of the cane for the man.
Although he was below 21 at the time, they felt that sentencing considerations should include deterrence and retribution.
“A person’s home is their sanctuary. A woman has a sacrosanct right to her bodily integrity. This case involves a flagrant and deplorable breach of both these inviolable principles,” they added.
The man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned for rape.
Featured Image: KATTY ELIZAROVA / Shutterstock.com (Image is for illustration purpose only)