A 39-year-old man who robbed and sexually assaulted a freelance masseuse – and made her squat naked by her front door as he fled – was sentenced to 11 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Thursday (Oct 6).
Raymond Lee Ling Soon came across an advertisement for the 24-year-old woman’s services on Jan 19 this year, and made an appointment with her that evening. They met at the woman’s rented flat at People’s Park Centre at about 7.30pm.
As soon as the victim closed the door behind him, Lee held a penknife to her neck and shouted “robbery”. He forced the woman to strip and lie down on her bed, naked, while he ransacked her room and pocketed S$400 in cash.
Then, holding the penknife to her neck, Lee spent the next hour sexually assaulting her, despite the woman’s pleas to stop and not hurt her. After the assault, Lee told the woman to squat naked by her front door and close her eyes and count to 20, allowing him to flee.
Though he threatened the victim repeatedly not to call the police, she did so as soon as it was possible. Lee was arrested later that night.
‘HENIOUS, DEPRAVED AND CRUEL’
Calling for an 11-year jail term and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said the terror and pain the victim endured is unimaginable.
Lee subjected the woman “to the gross indignity and humiliation” of stripping herself and making her lie down on the bed while he robbed and later sexually assaulted her.
He had also told the victim not to call the police, threatening to “come her after” and “beat her up and kick her (private part) until she could not get pregnant”, DPP Uthrapathy said.
The prosecutor also pointed out Lee’s attack was clearly premeditated, as he had checked beforehand that the woman would be alone in the flat and had brought a penknife along to their meeting.
“He has clearly not learnt his lesson,” the DPP added, citing Lee’s past convictions for robbery, aggravated molest and numerous cheating offences. Lee has spent years in jail and had previously been caned 24 times.
Lee’s lawyer urged the court to impose an 8-year jail term, though he did not contest the 24 strokes warranted by law for Lee’s offences. Lawyer Low Jian Hui said Lee is remorseful and has returned the S$400 to the victim.
He knows he has “broken his parents’ hearts”, Mr Low added.
District Judge Low Wee Ping said he was “shocked” when he read court documents pertaining to Lee’s case, calling his offences “heinous, depraved and cruel”.
“I have no hesitation in sentencing you to 11 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane,” Judge Low said.
Lee pleaded guilty to two charges – robbery and aggravated sexual assault – on Thursday. Another two charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
For robbery committed after 7pm and before 7am, Lee could have been sentenced to at least three years’ jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane. For aggravated sexual assault, Lee could have been sentenced to at least eight years’ jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.