Drinking game turns into sexual assault

Drinking game turns into sexual assault

SINGAPORE - She was told that it was a reunion of secondary school friends.

The woman, who shall be known as C, decided to join her friends even though it was nearly 1am.

There, she was sexually assaulted when drunk, and one of her attackers even took some 40 pictures of the incident.

The men, who shall be known as A and B, were yesterday found guilty of their offences.

A faced one charge of digital penetration and four charges of using criminal force to outrage modesty; B faced one charge of using criminal force with intention to outrage modesty, and 27 charges of insulting modesty by taking pictures of C in a state of undress or other compromising positions.

None of the people involved can be identified because of a gag order.

Yesterday’s verdict by District Judge Marvin Bay came after a trial stretching over 40 days, and more than five years after the attack.

The court heard how, on April 18, 2009, C got a text message from A, an old school friend. He said he was hosting a class reunion and invited her to his flat.

While C was wary of A after an incident in 2004 where he tried to make a sexual pass, she was told a mutual friend, B, would be at the party. A even offered to pay for her taxi fare since it was late.

When she got to the apartment in the north-western part of Singapore at about 1am, A and B met her at a taxi stand.

A’s room was dark and lit only by tea lights. There was a bottle of vodka which was at least three-quarters full, which the group drank with mango juice.

After a round of drinks and reminiscing their school days, A and B convinced C to play a drinking game, where the loser would have to drink as a penalty.

As they were running out of vodka, the men decided to mix beer into the drinks so they could continue with the drinking game.

C said she drank more than the other two during the game because she kept losing.

In her testimony, C said she was not used to drinking vodka because it usually gave her a headache , and that the vodka, beer and mango juice concoction was something she had never tried.

She passed out while trying to light a cigarette.

While passed out, she could remember physical contact on her lips, neck, breasts, arms and private parts.

FLASH

Despite her eyes being closed, she knew there were flashes of light.

When she came to, C tried to call a friend. She later called her former boyfriend, who told the court he could hear her shouting “Where am I and what happened to my clothes?”

The second time she regained consciousness, it was bright outside. After A gave back C’s clothes, C asked for a drink as she was still having a headache.

With him outside the room, she took the opportunity to take the memory card of a camera she saw on the floor.

At home later, C put the card into a camera and saw that the first picture was of her naked. Shocked at what she saw, she turned off the camera and took the card to a police station.

It was only later during the investigation that she realised the two men had taken pictures of her in various states of undress during the night.

In defence, the two men said C had tried to seduce them using her intoxication as an excuse, which was part of an elaborate ploy to win back her former boyfriend.

Judge Bay sad this was implausible since that would require much planning and coordination, and C’s ex-boyfriend had testified that C was disorganised.

He also approved the prosecution’s application to impeach three witnesses, including one W, whom the judge described as having conduct that was “most troubling”.

“He was found to have communicated ostensibly on behalf of A to C for her to accept monies allegedly offered by A and B.

“W had exacerbated the situation by proceeding to warn her that if she chose to pursue the matter to trial, she would suffer severe repercussions if she lost the case,” he added.

After convicting the two men, Judge Bay increased their bail to $20,000, impounded their passports and ordered that A and B not to approach C.

The men will be sentenced on Jan 6.


This article was first published on November 25, 2014.
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