SINGAPORE: A groomsman who molested and sexually assaulted the bride in a hotel suite on the wedding night was on Monday (Sep 19) sentenced to seven years and six strokes of the cane.
The 42-year-old man, who cannot be named due to a gag order preventing the publication of anything that could identify the victim or the accused, was convicted in May of one count each of sexual assault and molestation.
The couple, who dated for 11 years, has since divorced. They had married on an undisclosed date in 2016 and held a wedding banquet.
The offender was one of the groomsmen, who were invited back to the bridal suite after the banquet for an after-party.
The couple and their wedding party continued to drink alcohol in the suite, but the bride felt tired at about 1am and went to the bedroom to shower and change.
She recalled closing the sliding door that separated the bedroom from the living room but did not lock it.
At about 3am, everyone left the room except the offender, who had fallen asleep on a sofa in the living room. The groom was asleep on another sofa in the same room.
The bride was woken at about 6am by someone touching her and sexually assaulting her. She thought it was her husband and asked him to take a shower, but there was no response.
When the touching continued, the bride turned to look at the person but could not see him properly as the room was very dark. However, she saw that the person’s face was much bigger and rounder than her husband’s and knew that it was not him.
She asked him “who are you?” but he did not respond. Feeling scared, she left the bed and looked for her husband, who was asleep in his wedding suit on the sofa outside. She later saw that the person touching her was the offender, and lodged a police report with her then-husband.
The offender denied the charges, claiming that he thought he was asleep at home and was touching his wife.
However, the judge found that the offender’s wife did not usually allow him to sleep in bed with him if he returned home after drinking and did not take a shower.
In sentencing, District Judge Victor Yeo noted that there was “a certain level of deception” in the molestation charge as the victim was under the impression that the offender was her husband.
The man intends to appeal.