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Filipino exec’s alleged victim talks of in-flight indecent assault

17 April 2019

Image may contain: sky, cloud, airplane and outdoor
Domingo is accused of committing the indecent acts
aboard an Air New Zealand flight 

By Vir B. Lumicao


The fate of a Filipino software company executive accused in West Kowloon Court of three counts of indecent assault on a 13-year-old Hong Kong boy will be known on Apr 23.

The trial of Rodolfo Domingo Jr got under way today, Apr 17, before Magistrate Edward Wong with his alleged victim giving evidence from New Zealand via an audio-video linkup.

The session began with Wong looking irked when the private lawyer of the defendant sought permission to have the proceedings conducted in Cantonese, instead of the scheduled English trial. The lawyer said he had already obtained the agreement of the prosecution.

The magistrate demanded the prosecutor to explain the language shift and the latter replied that the victim, a Hong Kong Chinese student in New Zealand, used Cantonese in his statements and video recorded interviews.
Wong expressed his concern that the fairness of the trial would be questioned because the defendant, a Filipino, spoke English and Tagalog.

The lawyer said Domingo was to give his evidence in English, to interpreted by a court staff in Cantonese to the boy, while an English interpreter was to be provided the defendant throughout the trial.
The magistrate eventually agreed, but the trial itself had not yet started when Wong, now speaking in Cantonese, vociferously took the prosecutor to task for disorderly court documents.

The elderly prosecutor tried to reason out but the younger Wong literally blasted him to acquiescence.
The magistrate gave the prosecutor 10 minutes – “10 minutes sharp,” he stressed – to put his documents in order.

When the problem had been sorted out, the three charges of indecent assault were read to Domingo, to which he pleaded not guilty.



The charges said that the alleged offences happened between Dec 8 and 9, 2018, while Domingo and the boy were both on an Air New Zealand flight from Auckland to Hong Kong.

Domingo was arrested as soon as he disembarked at Hong Kong International Airport.

Wong then had a video call with the victim, informing him about the court proceedings that were about to begin and advising the boy to tell the truth.

A large canvas video screen emerged from the ceiling of the courtroom along with a suspended projector and soon, a video recorded interview by an investigator with the alleged victim was played back for everyone in the courtroom to see.

After the VRI, the video linkup with the boy began and the prosecutor asked him about what happened during the flight. The audio was Cantonese but the boy gestured that the suspect put his hand on the alleged victim’s knee, then move it up to his private part.

He said the defendant asked him, “Good?” and the boy said “No!” aloud. In English charges read previously in court, Domingo allegedly did the indecent act three times each time the boy fell asleep.

Magistrate Wong reserved his verdict for Apr 23.
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