OMG, guys. Where do I begin this story about a purported gang leader from Singapore who repeatedly raped an underage girl?! The facts of the case are driving me crazy!
The whole thing reads too much like a badly written script of a Bollywood film.
Here's how it goes
The gang leader, Charles Koh Rong Guang, aged 25, had raped a 13-year-old girl multiple times back in late 2013 and early 2014 when he was 21.
At the time when he committed the rape offences between November 2013 and January 2014, Koh was serving a two-year probation for rioting with a deadly weapon.
Koh raped the victim for the first time at the staircase of a karaoke outlet in Choa Chu Kang Centre, and twice again at the staircase of Block 672A, Choa Chu Kang Crescent.
And to make sure that the victim doesn't speak up against him, Koh used a spanner and a brick, on different occasions, to threaten her, saying he would smash her face.
He made the 13-year-old strip naked and took photos of her along with a fellow gang member into sexually compromising poses. Koh, basically, was an absolute fear monger, who not only abused the girl physically but also broke her mentally.
Koh also circulated the photos he took on social media via a photo collage. Then in July 2014, the girl finally made a police report against the purported gang leader.
According to the prosecutors, Koh treated the victim as a "'f*** buddy" – someone to have sex with and 'throw' once he was done using her". Koh, however, denies that he even touched the girl.
"I did not touch her," the 25-year-old said during his trial last month, claiming that it was the girl who was making up the allegations because she wanted to get him into trouble for posting photos of her in sexually explicit poses with his "best bro".
Koh went on trial in the High Court on 16 January 2018, for 12 charges - four of statutory rape, one of sexual assault by penetration, three of criminal intimidation, two of committing an indecent act with a young person, one of causing hurt and one of circulating a nude photo of the girl, according to a report in The Straits Times.
Last month, the High Court found Koh guilty of 11 charges, acquitting him of the first rape charge after not finding any corroboration of the victim's account.
This guy commits multiple rape offences against an underage girl while he was on probation for another crime. He eventually gets caught after getting cocky. His case is tried at the High Court, where he is found guilty of 11 out of 12 charges.
Sounds about right.
Now comes the sentencing part
On Thursday, 26 April, Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim sentenced Koh to 28 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane on 11 charges he was found guilty.
"The offences were planned and pre-meditated, and there were clear aggravating factors. In my view, there are no mitigating circumstances," Judicial Commissioner Audrey said, adding that a stiff sentence was warranted to reflect his culpability.
So far, so good
A guy who was given a rare opportunity at rehabilitation and disregarded it by committing more heinous crimes was at last aptly sentenced for his deeds.
Koh is out on an SGD100,000 bail, which was posted by his father.
Yes, despite the fact that he was convicted of aggravated statutory rape, Koh was granted bail as he intends to appeal against his sentence.
Forget the fact that Koh's carefully planned offences were carried out against a vulnerable child, who was already being abused by her father. Forget the fact that Koh's offences added to the psychological damage she suffered. Forget the fact that the girl, now 17, resorted to self-harm to cope with Koh's persistent sexual assault.
Koh was granted bail despite all this and more, pending his appeal.