Rope skipping coach convicted of raping, sexually assaulting teenage student

Rope skipping coach convicted of raping, sexually assaulting teenage student

Channel NewsAsia·2018-02-20 22:05

Screengrab of Roger Yue outside the High Court. 

SINGAPORE: A 59-year-old rope skipping coach was convicted on Tuesday (Feb 20) of raping his 13-year-old student at his Tampines home in 2008 and 2009.

Roger Yue Jr, then the president of Rope Skipping Singapore, was also convicted of sexually assaulting the teenager on multiple occasions. He used the handle of a skipping rope and a vibrator on the girl, and made her perform oral sex on him.

Yue was convicted of seven charges – two of rape and five of sexual penetration of a minor – after a seven-day trial, at which the victim, now 22, testified against him.

Yue had sexually abused the girl for two years, from 2008 until 2010, though she waited five years to report the abuse to the police. This years-long delay “gave me some pause", Justice Aedit Abdullah said.

“I accept that victims of sexual assault or abuse may not behave in a stereotypical way,” Justice Aedit said. "The thinking process … of a juvenile victim may lead to a course of action that may appear unreasonable … (but) the court must be mindful (of this) and should not measure a child by adult standards," he added.

However, the delayed reporting of the office could have "robbed the victim of the strength of the support that is to be obtained from early reporting", Justice Aedit said, as early reports “give strong support to the case against an accused person".

In this case, the teenager’s evidence alone was not sufficient to convict Yue, Justice Aedit said. 

It was Yue’s own statement to a psychiatrist that did him in. Yue had told a psychiatrist that he considered himself to be in a relationship with the teenager and that it was in this context that he committed the sexual acts.

"Taken together with the victim’s testimony, there was sufficient evidence (to convict Yue)," Justice Aedit said. Whether the teenager consented to the sexual acts is "irrelevant" because she was a juvenile victim, he added. 

"I accept the (victim’s) evidence that the sexual acts were committed through what was at least cajoling, if not pressure, by (Yue)," Justice Aedit said.

Yue is on bail of S$70,000 pending a sentencing hearing on Mar 21. 

He faces up to 20 years' jail for each charge of rape or sexual penetration of a minor under 16. As he is above 50, he cannot be caned.

Another 41 charges against Yue – all involving the same victim – will be dealt with at a later date. 

These include more than 20 charges for sexual penetration of a minor and more than 10 charges under the Children and Young Persons Act for committing indecent acts with a child.

In addition to allegedly sexually assaulting the girl in public, including at a public carpark at Tampines, an abandoned building along Lavender Street, the pagoda at Chinese Garden and in the bushes outside Bedok MRT station, Yue is also accused of taking photographs of her in the nude.

On one occasion in 2008 at Lakeside MRT station, Yue allegedly told the girl to change into a tight-fitting dress and to remove her bra and panties.

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