GEORGE TOWN, Nov 19 — An electrician, who was only bound over by a Sessions Court for raping a 12-year-old girl, was sent to jail after the High Court overturned the light sentence that had sparked public outrage.
High Court judge Datuk Seri Zakaria Sam (picture) sentenced Chuah Guan Jiu, 22, to five years’ and 5½ years’ jail, to be served concurrently, for two counts of raping the girl last year.
Chuah was initially bound over for three years for RM25,000 after the Sessions Court convicted him of raping his then 12-year-old girlfriend at his flat in Farlim here.
Chuah committed the offences some time between 7am and 1pm on July 18 last year and again some time between 2.25pm and 2.45pm the next day.
In delivering his decision after hearing the appeal by both Chuah and the prosecution, Zakaria dismissed Chuah’s appeal against his conviction, upheld the Sessions Court’s conviction and imposed the jail sentence.
He ordered for Chuah to serve five years’ jail for the first count of rape and 5½ years for the second count.
As both sentences are concurrent, Chuah will serve 5½ years.
In his decision, Zakaria called Chuah a manipulator for coercing the girl to have sex with him when as an adult he should be protecting her.
“She trusted you and you took advantage of her naiveness. Instead of taking her to school, you took her home and have sex with her,” he said.
He said during the hearing of the case, the victim said she had submitted to Chuah because he had told her that if she loved him, she had to submit to him.
“As an adult, you should know the risk under the law and be ready to face the consequences,” he told Chuah.
He said the defence could not claim consent as consent was irrelevant in statutory rape.
“Young girls should be protected from manipulators like you and although you are young, you committed this act with the full knowledge of an adult,” he said.
Chuah, through his counsel P. Ashokumar, applied for a stay of execution pending appeal against the sentence and conviction.
Zakaria rejected the application for a stay and ordered for Chuah to begin his sentence immediately.
This case has drawn widespread flak from the public when the Sessions Court bound Chuah over for three years following his conviction of the crime.
His case was came into the limelight in August as it was immediately after former national youth squad bowler Noor Afizal Azizan was bound over for RM25,000 for five years by the Court of Appeal for the statutory rape of a 13-year-old girl.