Sat, Oct 07, 2017 - Page 1 News List

Four Singaporean university students receive suspended sentences for rape

By Jason Pan  /  Staff reporter

Singaporean university students Bryan Ong Kun Jun, front right, Tan Juan Yin, front left, and Lau Wei Seng, second row right, are escorted by police before a hearing at the Shilin District Court in an undated photograph.

Photo: Huang chieh, Taipei Times

The Shilin District Court yesterday convicted four Singaporean university students of sexual assault and handed down suspended sentences that would see them avoid prison time, but with conditions preventing them from leaving the nation until their probation expires.

The four were originally sentenced to jail terms of between 20 and 23 months, but the judges suspended the sentences and gave probation of four years for two of them and five years for the other two.

As it was the first ruling on the case, the defendants can appeal the court’s decision.

After a late night of revelry and drinking by the four in December last year, two Taiwanese women said they were raped by the group.

Lau Wei Seng (劉瑋城) was an exchange student at a university in Taipei, while the other three are friends who were reportedly enrolled at universities in Singapore.

The three friends were identified by Singaporean newspaper the Straits Times as Bryan Ong Kun Jun (王琨駿), Tan Juan Yin (陳俊穎) and Lim Wei Xuan (林煒軒).

All four were aged 23 at the time.

Lau testified that he invited the three from Singapore for a visit, with the group touring around the nation before ending the trip at a bed-and-breakfast in Taipei, where the alleged sexual assault took place.

The judges cited an agreement by the four men to pay financial compensation of an undisclosed amount to the two women as justification for the suspended sentences.

The two victims have agreed to the private settlement and reportedly said they were willing to forgive the four men and not pursue the case further, the court ruling said.

While the suspended sentences mean the four men do not have to serve time in prison, their probation requires them to remain in Taiwan until their terms expire, as the judges imposed protective control measures.

The measures require the four to regularly report their activities and whereabouts to probation officers, and any further infraction of the law would see the suspension lifted.

Lau reportedly met one of the women, known as “Siao Fang” (小芳), at a nightclub in Taipei on Dec. 11, and later invited her back to the group’s lodgings to party with his friends.

Siao Fang reportedly invited a friend to the party, drinking late into the night.

Afterward, the two women accused the men of forcing them to have sex while they were inebriated, despite their objections.

The defense said it was consensual sex between adults, quoting Siao Fang as saying that they could have sex with her, but “please don’t hurt my friend.”

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