KUALA LUMPUR - A former member of a popular R&B hip hop group in the early 2000s was sentenced by the Kajang Sessions Court to 20 years in prison and 10 strokes of the rotan after he was found guilty of raping his stepdaughter.
The 38-year-old vocal trainer at several ministries and government bodies stood calmly when the court delivered its verdict.
As the court stood down to deliberate on the sentence, he broke down in tears.
The accused was charged with raping the girl, now 15, in her bedroom at a house in Taman Gombak Jaya here at 9am on Feb 2 last year.
It was learnt that the victim's mother and the accused had since divorced.
Judge Nor Hazani Hamzah said the victim's testimony was credible and a doctor had confirmed a vaginal tear found on her.
"After the incident, the victim confided in two witnesses (both are the victim's schoolteachers). The testimonies of these two independent witnesses are believeable," she said.
The court heard a Victim Impact Statement by the victim prior to sentencing.
"I feel insecure and disgusted at myself," said the soft-spoken girl who fought back tears while giving her statement.
"I feel I had lost the will to live and there were several times I thought of suicide.
"I do not know what my future will be but it appears to be bleak. I am afraid to return to school and that this dark episode will be discovered by people."
Lawyer Azmi Talib applied for a stay of execution pending an appeal at the High Court and assured the court that his client was not a flight risk.
DPP Noor Fadzlin Abd Zawawi objected, arguing that a special circumstance was needed to grant a stay.
"The presumption of innocence is gone once an accused is convicted," she said.
Nor Hazani, however, allowed the stay but increased bail from RM15,000 to RM80,000.