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The Straits Times
Sept 16, 2022
A man spotted a sex worker in deep sleep on a chair in Geylang and molested the unresponsive woman before carrying her off to a nearby area in the wee hours of March 1 last year.
Bangladeshi factory worker Patian Sohag then had sex with the woman, who managed to stagger back to the chair before dozing off.
She made a police report only after she woke up later that morning, and officers arrested Patian three days later.
The 40-year-old man, who was initially charged with rape, was on Friday sentenced to 3½ years' jail with three strokes of the cane after he admitted to a reduced charge of abducting the woman for sex.
Court documents did not disclose the reasons behind the reduction.
Patian also pleaded guilty to one count of molesting her.
After the incident, a blood sample taken from the victim revealed traces of cough suppressant dextromethorphan and sedative nitrazepam.
The detected levels of these two substances were about three to five times the upper ends of their therapeutic ranges.
The court heard on Friday that dextromethorphan can cause sedation while nitrazepam's side-effects include disorientation, confusion and amnesia.
The prosecution said: "The victim would very likely and very probably experience the... side-effects (of the substances)."
Deputy Public Prosecutors Delicia Tan and Phoebe Tan stated in court documents that Patian had earlier gone to Geylang with a male friend to look for sex workers.
However, Patian was unable to find a suitable one as he felt that the prices quoted were too high.
After his friend left, Patian spotted the victim, who was then sleeping in a chair at around 3.20am. He tried to wake her by calling out to her but she did not respond.
He also noticed that she was in deep sleep and did not make any movement.
Patian then molested the woman and asked her if she wanted to have sex with him, but she did not respond.
The prosecutors said: "The accused knew that he had not obtained the victim's consent for sex and decided to compel her to go to a connected lane nearby where there were potted plants so that he could have sex with her there.
"The accused lifted the victim up from the chair by placing both his hands underneath her armpits... he stretched out his hands around her back... and carried her to the potted plants area."
After that, Patian placed the woman on the ground and had sex with her before leaving the scene.
The victim made her way back to the chair at around 3.30am and fell asleep before alerting the police about five hours later.
On Friday, the prosecution asked for Patian to be given up to four years and three months' jail with three strokes of the cane.
The prosecution told the court: "He took advantage of the vulnerable state that the victim was in by molesting her and abducting her for sex, despite being fully aware that she was unable to (give her) consent."
Defence lawyer Ashwin Ganapathy from IRB Law had represented the offender pro bono.
He pleaded for Patian to be given three years' jail with three strokes of the cane, stressing that the offender was deeply sorry for his actions.