SINGAPORE: A 40-year-old man who drove a drunk woman back to his home from Singapore nightspot Zouk and raped her while she was unconscious was sentenced to 12 strokes of the cane and 13-and-a-half years in jail on Monday (Nov 13).
Ong Soon Heng (pic), who was a trainee bunker surveyor, is appealing against his conviction and sentence, and is out on bail of S$80,000 (RM246,000).
He had been convicted in July of abducting and raping the undergraduate in 2014, when she was 22 years old and working as an intern in his friend's company.
Surveillance footage showed he had hauled her limp body over his shoulder at Zouk and placed her in the back seat of his car.
It was about 4am on July 24, 2014, and he took her to his house in Hume Heights, where he raped her while she was unconscious.
Her boyfriend found her in a stupor when he tracked her to Ong's home using a smartphone app, after she went silent on her phone.
Prosecutors had sought at least 14 years in jail and 12 strokes of the cane. The defence had asked for 10 years in jail and six strokes of the cane.
Parties related to the victim are not named owing to a gag order to protect her identity.
Ong and the woman were at Zouk with friends. One of her friends had testified earlier that they were kissing, during which she was "standing up but wasn't very stable".
As the night wore on, she became intoxicated and passed out.
The friend said she trusted Ong when he said he would drive the victim home.
Meanwhile, the victim's boyfriend went in search of her when she failed to respond to his calls and text messages for hours.
Logging into her Apple account and using the Find My iPhone app, he located her whereabouts.
He found her at about 6.30am, lying on a mattress with Ong.
Ong immediately denied he had done anything with her.
She was wearing Ong's boxer shorts and T-shirt, and could barely open her eyes or stand.
He took her home. Her family, suspecting she had been drugged, took her to hospital.
Later, a medical report, based on hospital test results, estimated her blood alcohol concentration to be between 210.50mg and 254.50mg per 100ml of blood when she was at Ong's home.
This means she was severely intoxicated and highly unlikely to have had consensual sex.
Her 57-year-old father, when testifying in court, broke down as he recounted how he had to break the news to his family, including his daughter, that she had been raped.
Ong, in his defence, said he had been in an intimate relationship with the woman. He also claimed she was not so drunk and was able to consent to sex.
During sentencing, Justice Aedit Abdullah said Ong had exploited the opportunity to be alone with the victim because the others thought he was taking her home.
The exploitation, however, did not amount to premeditation, the judge said, as there was no evidence that he had plied her with drinks.
Ong formed the intention to rape her after he drove off from the club, the judge added.
He noted that all rape victims suffer trauma but the psychological impact on the woman, while substantial, was not post-traumatic stress disorder, which would bring the case into a higher sentencing band.
The victim's father, who was in court, told reporters: "He deserves what he deserves."
Ong's defence, he said, "added more insult to my daughter". - The Straits Times/Asia News Network