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Britons rape trial: Second accused also says woman consented to sex

SINGAPORE: The second of three British men accused of gang-raping a Malaysian woman at Carlton Hotel in Singapore last year said the 22-year-old did not resist. In fact, “she was very sexually aroused”, Vu Thai Son said in a statement to police on Sep 11, 2016 read out in court on Friday (Aug 4).

Vu, 24, said he had gone into his friend Richard Ahn’s room to brush his teeth. CCTV footage showed Vu entering the room at about 4.25am. According to Vu, the woman had asked him “what (are) you doing?”. Vu sat at the edge of the bed and started “flirting” with her because he found her attractive, the High Court heard. The pair then had consensual sex, Vu claimed.

Vu, together with friends Tam Thanh Khong, 22, and Michael Le, 24, are on trial for rape. Vu and Khong face an additional charge each for sexual assault.

The men, British citizens of Vietnamese descent, had arrived in Singapore on Sep 9 last year for the bachelor party of Khong’s brother. A group of about nine friends headed to nightclub Zouk on Sep 10, where one of the group, Mr Ahn, met the woman. At her suggestion, he took her back to his room at Carlton Hotel, where they had sex before she fell asleep, drunk.

CCTV footage showed that at about 4am, Mr Ahn let Khong into his room, leaving Khong alone with the sleeping woman. Prosecutors allege Khong raped the woman and sexually assaulted her. “(The victim) did not consent to sexual intercourse. (She) was not even awake at this time,” Deputy Public Prosecutor G Kannan told the court at the opening of the trial on Tuesday.

Khong left the room 25 minutes later. “Like clockwork”, Vu entered the room shortly after 4.25am where he, too, raped and sexually assaulted the victim, DPP Kannan said. Vu left the room at about 4.50am and within a minute, Le was seen entering the room.

“He undressed, got into bed with the victim and raped her. The woman suddenly woke up (while she was being raped) and confronted Le,” DPP Kannan said. After a “heated exchange”, the prosecutor said, Le left the room.

When Mr Ahn returned to the room 15 minutes later at 5.20am, the victim, suspecting that he was involved in what had happened to her, confronted him before leaving the hotel over an hour later, DPP Kannan said. She subsequently went to the police.

When asked by the police whether the woman knew who he was before they had sex, Vu had replied “definitely”. According to the Sep 11 statement read out in court on Friday, Vu said he has tattoos on both arms and on his chest. Mr Ahn does not have tattoos, and “it doesn’t make sense if she couldn’t tell the difference”.

In a statement recorded later that day, the police asked Vu about certain text messages found in a group chat in which Vu said “who’s next?”. He was also asked about a text message sent by Le in which Le told his friends that he had had sex with the woman.

The trial resumes on Monday.

Read more at http://www.channelnewsasia.com/news/singapore/britons-rape-trial-second-accused-also-says-woman-consented-to-9093220






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