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The Straits Times
Feb 25, 2023
A woman claimed her former boyfriend had raped her, and presented numerous text messages as court exhibits to support her allegation that he had been harassing her as well.
But it turned out that Ms Yang Nan had tampered with the WeChat exchanges by deleting her side of the conversation and showing only the man’s messages.
This gave the false impression that Mr Li Shukai was sending multiple unwanted messages relentlessly.
The lawsuit was dismissed by a district judge, who found that Ms Yang had failed to prove her claim for damages.
“Not only was there an absence of any objective direct evidence of the alleged rape, the contemporaneous evidence contradicted the plaintiff’s explanation for what happened,” said Judge Allen Ng in a judgment published on Friday.
The judge also said Ms Yang had damaged her own credibility by tampering with evidence.
Ms Yang has filed an appeal against the decision.
Mr Li and Ms Yang met on Feb 14, 2018. They started texting each other on WeChat and had sex on Feb 27.
He said the encounter was consensual, but she said he raped her. Ms Yang claimed the incident caused her to suffer post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD).
But they continued to text each other and meet after the incident. He said it was because they were a couple, but she said it was because he threatened her.
On the evening of March 10, 2018 the pair went to Mr Li’s flat.
She alleged that he confined her until the afternoon of March 11 and assaulted, raped and injured her.
He said they had consensual sex and she voluntarily stayed the night. The pair continued to exchange messages and meet, but broke up in April 2018.
On May 2, 2018, Ms Yang lodged a police report saying she suspected that Mr Li was harassing her.
A day later, she made another report stating that her ex-boyfriend had sexually assaulted her.
Mr Li was investigated by the police, and no further action was taken.
He said Ms Yang sent him harassing messages, published defamatory posts and vandalised the walls outside his flat.
On Aug 19, 2020, Ms Yang sued Mr Li over several alleged incidents of rape.
Mr Li partly succeeded in striking out her claim, and the trial was limited to the March 10 incident for which she sued for assault, battery and false imprisonment.
Ms Yang asserted that Mr Li had twisted her wrist, ripped off her clothes and bit her breast.
She submitted a photograph of a foot which she said was scarred as a result of the incident, as well as a medical report which stated that she had a vaginal infection.
Judge Ng said the report did not prove she was raped.
The judge said the messages exchanged between the pair contradicted Ms Yang’s claim that she was a victim who was agreeing to an aggressor’s demands out of fear.
The messages immediately after the alleged rape also did not indicate she was in fear – the pair had exchanged affectionate emojis on the night of March 11.
Ms Yang submitted 30 pages of messages which gave the impression that she was ignoring Mr Li.
When Mr Li’s lawyer Riyach Hussain confronted Ms Yang with the full exchange from his client, she admitted she had deleted her own messages.
She said she deleted them “so that the conversation will appear to be more complete” and because she wanted “all the conversation to be reflected in this screenshot”.