Singapore—The defence lawyer for a former Grab driver accused of attempting to rape a female passenger claims that the woman had consented to his advances.
The lawyer for Tan Yew Sin says that, despite her intoxicated state, the woman gave her consent to the driver and that the sounds she made are proof that she may have been an active participant when he kissed and fondled her,
The High Court trial for the former Grab driver, who has been accused of one count each of attempted rape, sexual assault by penetration and outrage of modesty, was held on Monday (Mar 15).
He is said to have committed the acts in the early morning hours of May 19, 2018.
The woman, whose identity is undisclosed for her own protection, was 19 when the incident occurred.
Tan, 46, is married and has three children.
He acknowledged to the police that he had fondled her and attempted to initiate sex with her.
But he also claimed that she had “participated in some of the sexual acts”.
According to Tan’s lawyer, Mr Chenthil Kumarasingam, footage from inside the vehicle show that the victim had a “coherent” conversation with the driver.
He further said that the sounds she made during his sexual advances showed her participation in the activity.
Mr Chenthil added that when Tan went to the back seat to try to have sexual activities with her for the second time, she said “no” and Tan stopped.
The lawyer said, ”The moment she said no, my client stopped and moved to the front… She was able to refuse consent.”
However, according to straitstimes.com, an expert witness’ opinion on the matter was cited by Deputy Public Prosecutor M. Kayal Pillay.
The expert witness said that the victim had been very drunk at the time of the incident and did not have the capacity to consent to what Tan had initiated.
Moreover, the DPP added that the victim’s express consent had not been captured by the camera inside the vehicle.
Ms Pillay said that the moans captured on camera could have merely been a function of physical stimulation, and not a sign of participation.
Justice Pang Khang Chau said he’ll give his ruling on the case at a later date.
In the early morning hours of May 19, 2018, Tan picked up the victim from a bar at Seletar Aerospace Park. A friend had booked a Grab to take her home to her condominium in Jalan Loyang Besar.
The friend told Tan that the woman was drunk and gave him a plastic bag just in case she needed to vomit.
But when she got to her condominium, she could not enter the gate.
When she started crying, Tan took her back to the car, where he tried to initiate sexual acts with her. He then drove to a secluded area, got into the back sear with her, and fondled her, sexually assaulted her, and attempted to rape her.
She refused him.
After a while, Tan drove her back home, and left her at the condominium.
She was found in the middle of the road by another Grab driver, who called the police.
An ambulance was also dispatched so the woman could be examined by paramedics. At this point, she had no underwear and shorts on.
Later, Tan’s DNA was found on her clothing, according to CNA.
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