Chinnaiah Karthik, a 26-year-old cleaner, pleaded guilty on Friday to a charge of aggravated rape for his attack on the woman at about 1.30 am on May 4 in Kranji, a suburb in northwestern Singapore.
The High Court was told that Karthik assaulted the victim so brutally that her then boyfriend could not recognise her when he visited her in hospital, The Straits Times newspaper reported.
The victim ended up in Kranji late at night after she took the wrong MRT train on her way back to campus, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kayal Pillay said.
Caught up in the call with her boyfriend, she walked for 10 to 15 minutes without paying attention to her surroundings when Karthik walked up to her and asked if she was okay.
Asking him to leave her alone, the victim tried to walk back to the MRT station but Chinnaiah grabbed her arm and pushed her down Turf Club Avenue, away from the station.
Realising that he was following her, she told her boyfriend who asked her to head to an open space and try to flag down a taxi.
The woman decided to cross the road, but Chinnaiah caught up with her at the road divider and punched her face and continued to hit her repeatedly.
After hearing her screams and noises over the phone, the boyfriend contacted her hall mate, who called the police.
According to The Times report, he placed her in a headlock under his arm and dragged her into the forested area where he pinned her down by the neck as he raped her.
While Karthik escaped, the victim walked back to the main road and sat there crying until the police arrived at around 2.05 am.
Police officers conducted investigations at nearby dormitories and housing areas, and caught Karthik the next day of the incident. His DNA samples were found on the victim’s clothes and body.
He was remanded at the Institute of Mental Health after a psychiatric evaluation found that he was unfit to stand trial, and was given a discharge not amounting to an acquittal on August 1, 2022.
He was reassessed and found fit to plead on January 16, 2023.
Deputy Public Prosecutors told the court that after four years, the victim still suffers the emotional and psychological effects of the incident.
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