Three men of Vietnamese descent but British nationality were sentenced to jail and whipping today by a Singapore court for raping a Malaysian woman.
- The trio flew to Singapore for a stag party and music festival
- A friend, Trinh Viet Anh, met the victim at Zouk club
- The victim followed him back to his hotel room for consensual sex
- The three men then took turns to rape the woman
- One of the three men paid the victim S$5k which she accepted
- Charge reduced from rape to aggravated molestation
- Trio pleaded guilty and sentenced to jail and caning
Two weeks ago, the trio went on trial for taking turns to rape a Malaysian woman in the Carlton Hotel.
Yesterday, the trio pleaded guilty to aggravated molestation after taking a week to consider the lesser charges in what is believed to be a plea bargain.
Rape is punishable by up to 20 years in jail and caning, while the maximum punishment for aggravated molestation is 10 years in jail and caning.
Khong Tam Thanh, 22, was sentenced to six years’ in jail and eight strokes of the cane.
Vu Thai Son, 24, was jailed six-and-a-half years and given eight strokes of the cane.
Michael Le, 24, was handed a sentence of five-and-a-half years and five strokes of the cane.
The three men admitted to outraging the woman’s modesty by having sex with her while wrongfully restraining her in the early hours of Sep 10 last year.
Thanh and Son, who work as beauticians in Britain, were convicted of an additional charge of sexual assault by using their fingers to penetrate the woman.
Lee is unemployed.
“They objectified her, they treated her like a thing to be used and abused,” the deputy public prosecutor said yesterday.
The accused were part of a group of friends who flew to Singapore on Sep 9 to throw a stag party for Thanh’s brother and attend the Ultra Music Festival.
They had booked three rooms at the hotel.
On the night they arrived, they went clubbing at Zouk, where one of them, Trinh Viet Anh, 24, befriended the victim, who was also visiting Singapore with a friend.
She suggested going to Anh’s hotel room, where they had consensual sex, after which she fell asleep.
At about 4am, Anh let Thanh into the room while he left to join the others in another room.
One after another, Thanh, Son and Le had sex with the woman, who was then 22 years old, while she was intoxicated and unconscious – a claim the trio denied.
While Le was having sex with her, the victim, said to be a marketing and corporate communications officer, woke up and demanded to know who he was.
She pushed him away and covered herself with a blanket, allegedly telling him that she would never have agreed to have sex with someone as ugly as he was.
She confronted Anh when he returned but he claimed to have no knowledge of what had happened.
She then sent a text message to a friend, who picked her up and took her to his flat to rest.
The victim, who lived in Johor Bahru, decided to lodge a police report the same day.
Apparently, Anh fled the country illegally after the incident.
All three accused submitted letters apologising to the woman.
In his letter, Thanh offered the woman S$5,000 (RM15,759) which she accepted.
According to his lawyer, Shashi Nathan, it was to show his genuine contrition.
Thanh had acted in a moment of folly after Anh suggested that he “try his luck” with the woman, he said.
Thanh, whose family flew to Singapore, has asked for two weeks’ deferment to spend time with them.
Son’s lawyer, Kalidass Murugaiyan, noted that he had come to Singapore not to commit a crime but for a social purpose.
Le’s lawyer, Ramesh Tiwary, highlighted that he was the first to indicate his desire to plead guilty once the charges were amended by the prosecution, which spared the woman from having to testify.