Women in Singapore cant be charged with sexual assault

A 40-year-old woman who admitted to repeatedly sexually assaulting her 13-year-old neighbour over almost two years was acquitted of six charges on Tuesday (Apr 12).

However, Zunika Ahmad was convicted under the Children and Young Persons Act for committing an obscene act with the victim in February 2012. She was sentenced to eight months’ jail; she could have been jailed up to five years and/or fined up to S$10,000.

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In a landmark judgment on the six charges for which Zunika was acquitted, Justice Kan Ting Chiu said the particular section of the law under which she was charged “does not cover women as offenders”.

Zunika had pleaded guilty in December last year to six counts under section 376A(1)(b) of the Penal Code for sexually assaulting the young girl using a sex toy. Section 376A(1)(b) criminalises the sexual penetration of a minor “with a part of A’s body (other than A’s penis) or anything else”.

“The charges cannot stand even after (Zunika) had pleaded guilty to them,” said Justice Kan.

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