SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old youth, who admitted last month to confining a 13-year-old girl in his flat and raping her, withdrew his plea of guilt on the day he was expected to be sentenced in the High Court.
The youth changed his mind yesterday and now wants to contest the charges against him in a trial. Trial dates will be fixed later.
He was absent without leave from full-time national service when he allegedly raped the girl at his flat on May 21 last year.
He is accused of punching her head, threatening to hurt her with a knife unless she complied with his demands, and refusing to let her leave his flat after locking the main door.
He also faced 10 other counts of having sex with a minor involving three other girls aged between 13 and 14 at the time, as well as one count of theft. These offences took place between October 2012 and December last year. The youth was not named to protect their identities.
Sentencing was adjourned last month, after hepleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated rape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and causing hurt, as well as three of the 10 charges of underage sex.
But yesterday, the youth's lawyer Anand Nalachandran told the court that his client now disputes the facts relating to the alleged rape and asked to retract his guilty plea.
Justice Choo Han Teck granted the request in view of the serious nature of the charges.
Aggravated rape carries between eight and 20 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.
This article was first published on October 18, 2014.
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