Date
28 July 2017
Announcing jail term for an African man in a sexual assault case, a High Court judge slammed the defendant for lack of remorse over his conduct. Photo: HKEJ
Announcing jail term for an African man in a sexual assault case, a High Court judge slammed the defendant for lack of remorse over his conduct. Photo: HKEJ

Togo national gets 9-year jail term for raping domestic helper

A Hong Kong court on Wednesday sentenced a 37-year-old man from a West African nation to nine years in prison after finding him guilty of sexually assaulting his Filipina domestic helper.

Kokou Afla Apelete, a Togo national who has been living in Hong Kong for many years, was given the punishment after he was convicted of indecent assault and rape, Ming Pao Daily reports.

He was also ordered to pay the maid HK$48,000 as compensation for her loss of income following her ordeal. 

The High Court heard earlier that Apelete asked the victim to be his “girl friend”, seizing a chance when his wife and daughter were not at the home in August 2015.

After being refused, Apelete began to indecently assault her before eventually raping the maid. He allegedly promised to send money to her family in exchange for her silence on his act.

According to the judge, the Filipina woman revealed that she has been suffering from depression and fright following the attacks.

The incidents led the maid, who had been her family’s only financial pillar, to quit Hong Kong and go back to her home country, where she subsequently took up new work. 

But she returned to Hong Kong to testify in the case against her former employer.

In order to give evidence and be present for the court hearings, the woman had to resign from her salesperson job in the Philippines. 

Apart from speaking about the hardships she endured from Apelete, the woman said she had been worried about contracting venereal disease because the defendant did not wear a condom when he raped her.

Announcing the verdict, a judge slammed the defendant for taking advantage of the victim’s trust to violate her.

In addition, he lashed out at Apelete for lack of remorse over his misconduct and for trying to delay the court hearings.

According to Apple Daily, the defendant resorted to various tactics, including attempting to change his lawyer midway and pretending to be sick, in a bid to procrastinate the court proceedings.

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TL/AC/RC

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