In a disturbing case that unfolded in 2017, a 45-year-old man named Jeffrey Pe has been sentenced to 10 years’ imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane by the High Court. The 45-year-old was found guilty of sexually assaulting a younger man who was in an intoxicated state during the incident.
The sentencing took place on Monday (July 3), following Pe’s trial that began in September 2022.
According to reports from Today, Pe initially contested the charges, claiming that the victim had consented to the sexual acts. However, he was convicted in April after High Court Judge Mavis Chionh deemed him to be a “disingenuous witness.”
The victim, a 20-year-old Singapore permanent resident from Britain, cannot be named due to a court order protecting his identity.
Justice Chionh found the victim’s testimony to be unusually convincing and considered him to be an honest witness. The court reviewed submissions and evidence, leading to Pe’s conviction on three charges of sexual assault by penetration.
WHAT REALLY HAPPENED
The events unfolded after the two men met in July 2017 to celebrate the completion of the victim’s full-time National Service. Pe and the victim had exchanged phone numbers and became acquainted at Hero’s pub along Circular Road. They later celebrated Pe’s birthday at a bar on July 30.
During their interactions, Pe discovered that the victim had recently ended a long-term relationship and was interested in meeting new people, particularly women. Pe took advantage of this vulnerability and portrayed himself as someone who could introduce the victim to potential romantic interests, thus gaining his trust.
On August 8, after consuming several alcoholic drinks at various venues in the Chinatown area, the victim felt intoxicated and requested to spend the night at Pe’s condominium. The two took a cab to Pe’s place, and the victim fell asleep on the bedroom floor.
Sometime later, the victim woke up to find Pe performing oral sex on him. Pe also used his own fingers to penetrate him anally twice. The victim, who was semi-conscious, pushed Pe away and went to the toilet to wash up. Feeling disgusted by the assault, he immediately contacted a friend and informed them of the rape before contacting the police.
Following the victim’s report, Pe was arrested a few hours later.
During the sentencing, Justice Chionh noted that the victim’s intoxication added to his vulnerability, making him incapable of giving consent to the sexual acts. She also agreed with the prosecution’s argument that the victim suffered harm as a result of the assault.
“The victim was intoxicated after a night of drinking and was incapable of consenting to the sexual acts performed on him by the accused,” she said according to the report.
An examination conducted in August 2018 by a psychiatrist from the National University Hospital diagnosed the victim with an anxiety disorder and post-traumatic stress symptoms. As a result, he was prescribed antidepressants, and his dosage was subsequently increased during subsequent hospital visits.
Justice Chionh dismissed the claims made by Pe’s lawyers that he had been cooperative with the authorities, citing the lack of evidence supporting such assertions. The judge further emphasized that character letters submitted on Pe’s behalf, highlighting his past good behavior and charitable acts, could not be used to offset his current offenses.
Pe’s conviction and sentencing serve as a powerful reminder of the importance of consent and the severe consequences that follow the perpetration of sexual assault. Each charge of sexual assault by penetration carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years’ imprisonment, along with fines and caning.
Pe intends to appeal his conviction and sentence and is currently out on bail.
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