A 53-year-old Singaporean man was jailed for 10 and a half years by the High Court on Monday after pleading guilty to one count of sexual assault by penetration and one count of raping his niece’s 26-year-old Indonesian domestic worker in November 2017.

The man, who lived with his girlfriend in Johor Bahru, Malaysia, traveled to Singapore daily to work as a security guard in Chinatown Plaza. He often stayed at his niece’s two-bedroom flat in Singapore.

The domestic worker, who cannot be named, was divorced and had a three-year-old daughter in Indonesia. She went to Singapore to work for the man’s niece from June 24, 2016, to November 18, 2017, during which time she treated the man as her employer.

The court heard that the man fell in love with the maid and told her he wanted to marry her on several occasions. She rejected him and lied, saying she was married. However, the man often tried to stroke her hair or grope her buttocks, but the woman pushed him away.

Between 9 am to 10 am on November 18 that year, while the man was alone with the woman, who was busily mopping the floor, he was wearing only a towel and hugged her from behind. The woman struggled, elbowed him and escaped to the living room, where she continued her work.

Later she asked the man if she could use a tube of muscle relaxant that was on a table. He said yes, but then forcibly applied the ointment on her back from inside her clothes. He then forced the petite-sized worker, who weighed only 41kg, onto a bed, where he undressed and brutally sexually assaulted her, causing her pain.

The man, without using protection, then raped her, despite her struggles. He later gave her a pair of earrings as gifts for not reporting him. The victim texted her sister-in-law in Hong Kong, who advised her to seek help from the Indonesian embassy in Singapore.

She fled from the unit and caught a taxi to the embassy, using money she borrowed from a passer-by. According to a medical report, the victim sustained injuries during the rape.

The defense lawyer pleaded for leniency, telling the court the man had encountered a supernatural entity in the course of his work as a security guard and was allegedly spiritually disturbed at the time of the offenses.

The man was not caned for each offense because he was aged over 50.