16 years’ jail and caning for truck driver who violently raped teenager he just met

SINGAPORE – Within one hour of meeting a 19-year-old teenage mother, a 27-year-old truck driver violently raped her after inviting her to his flat to “hang out”. Muhammad Iskandar Ismail, now 28, was sentenced to 16 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Monday (July 10) after he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated rape and two counts of aggravated sexual assault by penetration. A fourth charge of aggravated molestation was taken into consideration.

The High Court heard that at about 10am on Aug 16 last year, the victim, who cannot be named under a court order, was on her way home after buying breakfast and cigarettes when she bumped into a casual acquaintance at the void deck of her block of flats. The acquaintance was with Muhammad Iskandar, who was drinking beer, and introduced them. After a short chat, they exchanged phone numbers and she went home.

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She soon received a WhatsApp text message from Muhammad Iskandar, asking if she wanted to hang out.

She agreed as she was feeling bored at home and did not think he would harm her. At about 10.30am, she went to his flat in the same neighbourhood and had her breakfast while he took a shower. After he finished showering, he sat beside her on a mat in the living room and asked her to tell him about herself.

After she told him she was a single mother of a one-year-old boy with heart problems, he put his arm around her shoulder and said he pitied her. When he went closer to her and touched her shoulder, she told him not to touch her. He apologised but did not move away.

Instead, he aggressively pulled her towards him, touching her and hugging her tightly. She refused his demand for sex and made excuses to go home but he said she could only leave at 11.50am and took her phone away from her. He pushed her down and sat on top of her chest as she struggled and shouted at him to stop.

Instead of stopping, he slapped her left cheek and throttled her as she cried out in pain. Frightened that he would kill her, she told him she would give him whatever he wanted and begged him to stop strangling her as she had to take care of her sick son. He then made her perform oral sex on him and dragged her to a mattress, where he sexually violated her and raped her.

After the sexual attack, he apologised and begged her not to report him to the police. She left the flat at about noon and saw the acquaintance downstairs and told him about the rape. When he begged her not to tell anyone about it, she went to look for her ex-boyfriend, who took her to make a police report.

Muhammad Iskandar was arrested shortly before 9pm at the Woodlands checkpoint when he tried to flee to his mother’s home in Johor Baru after getting a phone call from a police officer.

A medical examination found multiple bruises on the victim’s neck, shoulder, arm and below her left eye.

A psychiatric report found that her IQ of 71 was in the borderline range and her level of adaptive functioning – how well a person can handle the common demands of life – was assessed to be in the borderline to low average range.

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