28 years' jail, maximum caning for man who raped and sodomised girl, 13

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·5 min read
Woman crouched with face covered
Woman crouched with face covered. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man who brutally raped and sodomised a 13-year-old girl at a park while forcing vodka down her throat was jailed for 28 years and 28 strokes of cane on Friday (19 March).

Muhammad Alif Rahim, 35, used his weight to press down on the girl and slapped her when she resisted in the incident on 24 October 2017.

As a person can only be given the maximum 24 stokes of the cane under the law, Alif will receive 24 strokes of the cane.

Alif, a Singaporean, pleaded guilty to one count of rape of a minor and two counts of sexual penetration of a minor. Four other counts of sexual assault against the same victim, now 16, were taken into consideration for sentencing. Another three charges involving property offences were also considered. The victim cannot be named due to a gag order in place.

Alif knew the victim through his 38-year-old girlfriend, whose son was a friend of the victim. The victim called Alif “uncle” when she went to his girlfriend’s house, and she did not know his name.

On the evening of 24 October 2017, the victim went to deliver cigarettes to a friend and walked through Kallang Riverside Park. She ran into Alif, who suggested that they buy drinks and chat in the park.

Trusting Alif, the victim went along with him. Between 9pm and 11pm, the two sat down at the jetty in front of the river and had drinks. Alif had a mixture of vodka and coke while the girl drank coke.

While Alif talked about his relationship problems, the girl texted on her phone. Alif suddenly leaned forward and kissed her. The girl tried to move away but Alif snatched the phone away and overpowered her.

Alif sat down on her hip and sexually assaulted her. When the victim shouted, he forced a bottle of vodka into her mouth by pressing her cheeks and poured alcohol in.

Alif then stood to remove his jeans and underwear and when the girl tried to flee, he pushed her against the fence so that she was trapped. He dragged her to the ground and sexually assaulted her again. He also hit her when she struggled.

Overcome by the alcohol, pain, and Alif’s build, the victim was helpless. The man used a hair gel mixture as lubricant for his offences. He covered her mouth to muffle her screams, and also forced more alcohol down her throat.

Alif also forced her to perform oral sex on him. After the incident, Alif dressed and threatened the girl not to tell anyone about it.

The victim, then a virgin, was in much pain and dizzy from the alcohol. She crawled from the jetty to a grass patch near a toilet, hoping a passerby would help her. She sent distressed voice messages to her aunt and the aunt’s mother, telling them that she had been raped. At this point, Alif returned on a bicycle and threatened her to keep the incident to herself again.

The victim’s aunt and a few other friends went to the park to look for the victim and ran into Alif, who asked them if they had seen his girlfriend. He made no mention of the victim.

The victim was eventually found by the group crying and lying on top of a drain at the park. The police were then called. 

Alif’s girlfriend was later informed about the incident. He denied seeing the girl when questioned by his girlfriend. When Alif and his girlfriend went to meet the victim at the park, the victim managed to point him out as the perpetrator before collapsing.

Alif denied the offences and threatened that if anything were to happen to him, he would find the victim’s family and harm them as he was a “wanted man”. He fled the scene when he saw two police officers approaching.

On 25 October 2017, at about 5am, police officers went to the house of Alif's girlfriend. They broke into a bedroom in which Alif was hiding. They found him concealed in a wooden cupboard and arrested him.

When interviewed, Alif lied that he was looking for his girlfriend at the park and never met the victim that night. A year later, he lied that the victim had requested sex.

The victim suffered from trauma following her experience. She was fearful of going out alone and seeing male strangers, and she could only go out with her family members.

After being examined by a psychiatrist, Alif was assessed to be of borderline intelligence. However he does not suffer from intellectual disability and was not of unsound mind at the time, according to the psychiatrist.

Submitting for a stiff sentence, the prosecution said that it was not Alif’s first brush with the law. Between 2007 and 2014, Alif had been jailed on five occasions for theft, cheating, robbery, criminal breach of trust, and sexual assault by penetration.

His most recent conviction in 2014 involved snatch theft and sexual assault by penetration, with one charge of aggravated molest considered. For these offences, he was sentenced to a jail term of 42 months and three strokes of the cane.

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