The recent development in the MacRitchie Reservoir rape case saw Bangladeshi construction worker Pramanik Liton sentenced to 17 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Friday. The 24-year-old was convicted of four charges, including two counts of aggravated rape, one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of abduction for illicit intercourse.
The incident happened in February 2015, when the 24-year-old man left his dormitory with a 16cm-long knife and staked out Lornie Trail. It was there that Liton spotted a 40-year-old Chinese national in the forest alone and started conversing with her under the pretence of asking for directions. He asked for sex, she refused, and he threatened her with the knife, causing her to lose consciousness at one point.
After dragging her out to a secluded area — in broad daylight — he raped her and then offered her $50 to “buy medicine so she would not get pregnant”.
But even with evidence from DNA tests, Liton — who refused to engage a lawyer — continued to deny the charges and maintained that he did not even touch the woman. “I just tried to scare her and she died out of fear,” he insisted.
Justice Choo Han Teck had this to say about Liton’s bizarre statement: “You claimed the victim had died. Clearly she had not, or this would have been the world’s first supernatural trial. I see nothing supernatural, only a traumatised woman who has convinced me you had committed the offences upon which you are being tried.”
After Liton was convicted, he pleaded for the “minimum sentence” and admitted he “made a mistake that [he] did not plead guilty in the first place.”