Singapore jails Chinese man Lim Beng for 17 yrs for multiple rapes in public space

Judge says Chinese New Year eve rape shattered notion of safety in public places in Singapore

The 30-year-old man who raped a young woman thrice in public within a span of 20 minutes on Chinese New Year's Eve three years ago was sentenced to nearly 17 years in jail and 22 strokes of the cane.

Lim Choon Beng had initially claimed that he had no recollection of rape but on the second day of the trial he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape, one count of sexual assault and one count of aggravated outrage of modesty. Several other charges were also considered during the sentencing on Tuesday, including a third rape charge.

In sentencing Lim, Judicial Commissioner Foo Chee Hock said Lim's "shocking and brazen" rape of the victim had "shattered" the idea that anyone can walk safely on public roads in Singapore at any time of the day.

Lim's acts warrant a deterrent penalty to signal that similar offences will be "punished with the full force of the law", added JC Foo.

JC Foo sentenced Lim to 13 years of jail and seven strokes of the cane for each of the two rape charges he pleaded guilty to. Lim could have faced up to 20 years' jail and caning per charge.

Lim has been punished for another three years and 10.5 months of jail and four strokes of the cane for the sexual assault charge forcing the victim to perform oral sex on him.

As for aggravated outrage of modesty, he received 30 months' jail and four strokes of the cane. Lim had sat on the victim to stop her from getting away, before grabbing her breast.

JC Foo punished Lim by ordering one 13-year term for rape and the term for sexual assault to run consecutively, giving Lim a total jail term of 16 years and 10.5 months and 22 strokes of the cane.

On 9 February, 2013, Lim, who was unacquainted with the victim, raped her outside The Watermark at Robertson Quay condominium along Martin Road towards River Valley Close at around 3.15am before she managed to escape.