Five men deny raping 17-year-old girl

By Ansley Ng, TODAY | Posted: 18 November 2009 0733 hrs

SINGAPORE: What was supposed to be a supper date turned into an ordeal for a 17-year-old girl, who was allegedly gang-raped by five young men.

The girl, now 18, had agreed to have a meal with a man called “Jonathan” in December last year. Instead, she was taken to a flat in Woodlands, where the men took turns to rape and sexually assault her.

The accused – Muhammad Shafie bin Ahmad Abdullah, 19; Mohd Sadruddin bin Azman, 19; Lim Boon Tai, 20; Rishi Mohan, 17; and Mohamed Firdaus bin Roslan, 18 – have denied the charges and are likely to testify that the sex was consensual.

Shafie and Lim were full-time National Servicemen at the time of the offence, while Sadruddin and Firdaus were then waiting for their O-level results. Rishi, a Malaysian citizen, was a student at the Institute of Technical Education.

The morning after the alleged crime, the girl’s boyfriend called the police after she told him what happened. Four days later, the men were arrested.

In his opening statement, deputy public prosecutor Gordon Oh said on the evening of Dec 25 last year, the victim was on a bus to Woodlands bus interchange and on the way home, when a man calling himself “Jonathan” rang her and asked to have supper with her.

“Jonathan” did not turn up. Instead, a friend of the girl – who is one of the accused – arrived in a taxi to pick her up from Woodlands MRT station.

He brought her to a flat in Woodlands, where she was introduced to the other men. There, Lim introduced himself as Jonathan.

The victim joined four of the accused men in a card game where the loser had to drink a soft drink mixed with vodka.

She had more than five disposable plastic cups of the cocktail, Mr Oh said.

During another game, the victim – whose head was spinning from the alcohol by that point – refused to kiss Lim as a forfeit.

The games ended when someone knocked on the flat’s door. Thinking it was Shafie’s parents returning home, the group suggested that the victim and Lim hide in a room together.

In the room, Lim allegedly pushed the girl onto a mattress and made sexual advances. She resisted but with her head feeling heavy, gave in to him.

Later, while she was resting in Shafie’s room, the men allegedly entered, stripped her and took turns raping and sexually assaulting her.

Two psychiatrists will testify that the girl now suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder and has depressive symptoms, said Mr Oh.

In court on Tuesday, the men – three of them bespectacled – sat in the cramped dock. Few of their family members appeared to be in court, but they seemed relaxed and were seen smiling and talking to each other.

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Source: Channel News Asia (link removed)

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