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Judicial CP - October 1997

Borneo Bulletin, BSB, 23 October 1997

Teacher jailed for statutory rape

By Norain Mohamed

A religious teacher who had sexual intercourse with a 13-year-old schoolgirl, three times with her consent was sentenced to three years jail and six strokes of the cane after he was convicted by the High Court of statutory rape.

Hishamuddin bin Haji Chuchu, 24 was initially charged with rape which carries a minimum sentence of eight years jail and 12 strokes and unlawful carnal knowledge (sex with girl aged below 16) soon after the girl's parents reported the incident that had occurred near the Hassanal Bolkiah Stadium on August 30 last year. He pleaded not guilty to the charge and was represented by counsel, Mr. Yusof Halim.

DPP Haji Rozaiman bin DSLJ Haji Abd. Rahman produced seven witnesses including the victim, her cousin and a gynaecologist from RIPAS hospital. The victim in her evidence told court that she first met the defendant at the religious school and that they had met a few times prior to the incident on August 30. While in his car near the stadium where she was supposed to watch football, he asked her to pull back the seat and take off her trousers and underwear which she did. He did the same thing before he penetrated her. "I asked him to stop during the intercourse but he carried on," she said. She then told the court that they had done it before, in fact this was the fourth time and that on few occasions they had did it at the religious school where he taught. When asked why she didn't resist, she said she didn't know what he was doing.

When cross-examined by Mr. Yusof, the girl said that she didn't want to have sex though she cared about him but stated that she hadn't refused to take her pants off nor had she stopped him from taking his pants off.

From the girl's cousin it was revealed that there were blood stains on the girl's trousers and when she asked her about it the girl cried and said she had sex with the defendant. She had later called her father, the girl's uncle and told him that the girl had made a big mistake with the defendant and later that day they took the girl back where his father explained what had happened to the girl's parents.

In his evidence given on oath Hishamuddin told the court that they wanted to be friends. He said that he had never had sex with her and only confessed to the police that he had because a police officer had told him if they were both willing it would not be an offence and he would only be released by the police if he made the statement.

Chief Justice Dato Sir Denys Roberts in his judgement said he believed the girl's story that intercourse occurred between her and the defendant because examination made by the gynaecologist supported that sex must have happened.

However, the Chief Justice didn't believe the girl when she said that she was not a willing partner and she didn't know what they were doing because her first confession to her cousin, whom the judge believed didn't suggest that she was unwilling. Furthermore, the previous sexual history in their relationship was in the judge's view enough to say that they were both expecting the intercourse in the car.

Taking into consideration all the evidence, the Chief Justice convicted Hishamuddin of statutory rape. Taking into account mitigating factors that he had not ben in trouble before and that he was carrying out responsible work as a religious teacher at the time of offence, the court sentenced him to three years jail and six strokes of the cane.

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Colin Farrell