A Japanese man, Ikko Kita, has been sentenced in Singapore to 17 and a half years in jail and 20 strokes of caning for the “brutal and cruel” rape of a 20-year-old university student in 2019.

This case marks the first instance of a Japanese national facing caning in Singapore. Caning is a controversial form of corporal punishment in Singapore, mandated for serious offenses such as vandalism, robbery, and drug trafficking.

According to court records, Kita met the victim at Clarke Quay, a popular nightlife area, where she was intoxicated. He then took her to his apartment where he raped her, filming the assault on his phone and sharing it with a friend.

The victim reported the incident to the police the same day, leading to Kita’s immediate arrest. Evidence included videos of the rape found on Kita’s mobile phone.

During sentencing, Justice Aedit Abdullah described the rape as particularly vicious, noting the victim’s vulnerable state due to intoxication. The judge dismissed claims from Kita’s defense that the victim had initially consented to sexual activity.

The case has garnered significant attention in both Japan and Singapore, sparking debates about the use of caning as punishment.

In Japan, reactions have varied, with some expressing shock at Singapore’s use of corporal punishment, while others support the stringent sentence, citing perceived leniency in Japanese sexual assault cases. Singapore defends caning as a deterrent against violent crime, although critics argue about its effectiveness and human rights implications.

The practice of caning in Singapore involves striking the offender with a wooden cane on the back of the thigh, potentially leaving lasting scars. This method gained international notoriety in 1994 when American citizen Michael Fay was caned for vandalism despite appeals for clemency from then-US President Bill Clinton.

Credit : BBC


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