SINGAPORE — A groomsman who sexually assaulted a bride in bed on her wedding night was on Monday (19 September) jailed for seven years along with six strokes of the cane.
The 42-year-old culprit had earlier this year been found guilty of sexual assault and molestation over the 2016 incident after a trial, which began in 2020. He had put his hand underneath the bride's nightgown and caressed her breast, and also digitally penetrated the woman.
The groom, who was an ex-colleague of the groomsman, was asleep in the next room at the time. The couple has since divorced.
In his defence, the man claimed he thought he was sleeping at home beside his own wife.
The parties in the case cannot be named to protect the victim's identity.
About the case
The groom had known the man since 2009 and the latter was one of his 10 groomsmen chosen for his wedding.
After the wedding banquet in 2016, the groom and at least three friends, including the man, went up to a hotel suite with excess alcohol. By then, the bride was already in the sleeping area, which was separated by a wooden partition from the living room of the suite. She was prepared to sleep and did not join in the drinking session.
While the man was in the living room, he became drunk and fell asleep on the sofa. The other friends then left. The groom unsuccessfully tried to wake the man up before sleeping on another sofa next to the one the man was on.
The bride later woke the groom up and told him the man had entered the sleeping area and assaulted her.
The groom then went to the bed area and saw the culprit standing topless between the bed and the television. When confronted, the man claimed that he had touched only the victim's upper body and apologised.
A short confrontation ensued and the groom chased the man out of the room. The couple made a police report the next day.
The maximum punishment for sexual assault by penetration is 20 years' jail with caning.
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