After leaving a bar in Robertson Quay, where he had been drinking with friends, a jobless man saw a woman walking alone along Martin Road at 3am.
What transpired in the next 20 minutes was a horrific episode of sexual violence as he raped her thrice at three locations in the area, and forced her to give him oral sex.
Even when his victim pleaded with him and repeatedly told him that she was having her period, he ignored her and continued violating her.
Lim Choon Beng, now 30, initially claimed trial to seven charges, including three of rape, claiming that he could not remember his actions.
In a surprising twist yesterday, a day after his trial began on Tuesday, Lim decided to plead guilty to two counts of rape, and one count each of outraging the woman's modesty and sexually penetrating her without her consent.
A third rape charge, two other counts of sexual penetration, and one count of being in possession of 13 obscene films will be taken into consideration during sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Zhuo Wenzhao and Lim's lawyer, Mr Anand Nalachandran, are scheduled to make their submissions before Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock tomorrow.
This is how the three rapes occurred:
RAPE #1: IN FRONT OF WATERMARK CONDOMINIUM
The victim, a performing artist from China who is now 27, was walking home along Martin Road around 3am on Feb 9, 2013, the eve of Chinese New Year, when she saw Lim crossing the road.
DPP Zhuo told the court that she slowed down to let him pass. But Lim, who had been drinking earlier, turned around and spoke to her in English.
When he realised that she did not understand him, he asked her in Mandarin whether she was a Chinese national and if she liked American men.
She ignored him and walked faster, but he grabbed her buttocks.
She pushed him away. Lim then grabbed her hand and shouted at her.
After freeing herself, she tried to hurry away, but he lifted her skirt.
Despite her shouts, Lim grabbed her shoulders and pushed her, causing her to fall on a grass patch near some plants in front of the Watermark condominium.
By then it was around 3.15am. Lim then sat on her lower body and tugged at her clothes, causing the zipper at the back of her dress to give way.
DPP Zhuo said: "As the victim was still struggling, the accused fiercely told her not to force him to hit her. The accused then pulled down her bra and grabbed her left breast."
As he tried to remove her panties, she told him that she was having her period and begged him to let her go.
He ignored her, yanked off her underwear and raped her.
Lim got up from his victim when he saw some cars passing by. She tried to retrieve her panties, but he snatched them and threw them farther away.
Lim then pulled her by her arm and asked her to follow him home.
RAPE #2: IN FRONT OF ROBERTSON 100 CONDOMINIUM
He pulled her across Rodyk Street to a raised platform in front of Robertson 100 condominium.
He then grabbed her neck with one hand and hit her head against a wall before pinning her on the ground.
It was around 3.25am.
The woman, who was feeling dizzy, begged Lim again to let her go. But he warned her not to shout or do anything that would force him to beat her.
When Lim tried to rape her again, the frightened victim told him again about her period. But he continued with the rape.
Around that time, a security guard at The Inspira condominium nearby saw Lim on top of the crying victim, and called the police.
When Lim got up and put on his jeans, the woman took off her high-heeled shoes and leapt from the platform in an attempt to flee.
But he yanked her hand and told her that he wanted to take her to his home.
DPP Zhuo said: "The victim then... lied to him that they could go to her home instead. The victim's intention was to lead the accused to her apartment where she could seek help from her (apartment's) security guard."
RAPE #3: ON A GRASS PATCH AT RIVER VALLEY CLOSE
They walked to River Valley Close and stopped at a grass patch near lamp post 16 around 3.35am.
He suddenly pinned her on the ground and forced her to perform oral sex on him before raping her for the third time.
"The victim continued crying loudly in the hope that someone would come and rescue her. She begged him to let her go to no avail," said DPP Zhuo.
Lim stopped the rape only when a taxi stopped near them. As he was pulling up his jeans, the woman broke free and fled.
She stopped a car and told the female driver to take her to the police. When the driver could not find the police station, the victim phoned a friend and told him about her ordeal.
He called the police and asked her to return to the area at River Valley Close.
As the driver did not know the way, the victim got out and took a taxi there, with the female driver following them in her car.
When the victim arrived at River Valley Close, she saw police officers with Lim. She immediately identified him as her rapist.
For each count of rape, Lim can be jailed up to 20 years, fined and/or caned.
EVIDENCE AGAINST LIM
The Health Sciences Authority conducted DNA analysis on clothes worn by Lim Choon Beng and his victim.
Results showed that:
- Lim's DNA was found inside the woman's left bra cup.
- Her blood was found inside his underwear, jeans and the bottom of his shirt front.
- His DNA was found on one of her shoes.
Her panties were found among some vegetation near the Watermark condominium. It had a 23.5cm-long zig-zag tear at the back
Soil was found on several areas of her dress and a few areas of her shawl.
Soil-like stains were found on the lower half of Lim's sleeves and the front right region of his shirt.
Soil-like stains were also found on the front right and left knee regions of his jeans.
The court heard yesterday that the woman was assessed at the Institute of Mental Health on March 19, 2013, and found to be having an "adjustment reaction" to her ordeal.
This article was first published on May 5, 2016.
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