Singapore—A man who assaulted a woman in an HDB block was sentenced on Tuesday (Mar 24) to 12 strokes of the cane and 11 and a half years in jail for his crime.
The assailant, 35-year-old Mohammad Fadil Othman, followed his victim, a Chinese national who had only been in Singapore for five days when the assault occurred on April 20, 2019.
The woman, whose name has been protected under a gag order, was working as a singer. She came home in the early morning hours of April 20 and was seen by Mr Fadil, who was at North Bridge Road when she walked by him. He thought she was drunk, and made up his mind to take advantage of her as he thought she would be unable to identify him.
At around 3:20 am he followed her to her building, and entered, making sure there was nobody else. When she entered the elevator, he followed her. As the door closed, he began to assault her.
She tried to resist him, but this only excited him more. “He admitted that the more she said ‘no’, the more he felt he had to touch her,” the prosecution said.
When she tried to exit the lift on the sixth floor, he pulled her hair so hard that investigators found some of her hair on the lift landing later that day. He also choked her and beat her.
He attempted to force her to perform oral sex on him, which she resisted, and when she would not stop resisting he pushed her back into the elevator and held her against the wall, putting his hand over her mouth.
The victim knelt before him and begged to be let go, but he insisted that she perform oral sex on him for five minutes.
When he was done, he held one finger to his lips to let her know she should not report what he had done, but when the victim went to her friend for help, the friend told her they needed to make a police report.
Fortunately, surveillance cameras had caught the assault and Mr Fadil was arrested that night.
He pleaded guilty to aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
The woman suffered from post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) due to the assault. straitstimes.com reports that she has experienced fear, anxiety, hyper-vigilance, problems sleeping and repeated nightmares, and has undergone therapy and is on medication.
According to Joshua Lim, the Deputy Public Prosecutor on the case, “The accused’s seven minutes of sexual gratification will haunt the victim for an immeasurably longer time.”
He recommended to the High Court that Mr Fadil be sentenced to 12 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane. Chong Xin Yi, who acted as counsel for Mr Fadil, asked for a nine-year jail sentence along with 12 years in jail, claiming the assailant was truly contrite and that his attack had not been premeditated. —/TISG
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