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High Court judge scolds man acquitted of raping Chinese-Filipina woman

25 September 2019

By Vir B. Lumicao
The judge showed her displeasure at the acquittal by giving the defendant a tongue-lashing

He may have been acquitted of a rape charge at the High Court, but a 34-year-old Japanese businessman did not escape a tongue-lashing from the judge who heard the case and was visibly disappointed by the jury’s verdict.

“You are acquitted, but I have to tell you the conduct that you displayed is unacceptable,” Judge Remedios D’Almada told defendant Kaise Hiroki in disgust at the end of the trial on Sept 24. “I can say you are very fortunate now.”

Hiroki was acquitted by a jury made up of five men and two women of a charge of raping a Chinese-Filipina restaurant worker in Mong Kok in August last year. The jury deliberated for three hours before deciding on a “not guilty” verdict by a vote of 6-1.

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They disregarded the prosecution claim that the woman, described by the judge as having come from the Philippines and was partly educated there and in Hong Kong, was unconscious due to drunkenness when the alleged rape took place.

In his defense, Hiroki admitted in court that he had sex with the 24-year-old woman referred to in court as “Miss X”, but it was consensual.

The incident happened in Hiroki’s home after he and Miss X rode on a minibus from Central to Mong Kok in the wee hours of Aug 5, 2018.
Judge D’Almada noted that the defendant took a complete stranger to his home when he knew she was very drunk and not totally in control of herself. But instead of allowing her to rest before taking her home, he had sexual intercourse with her.

“It is my advice to you not to engage in sex with a complete stranger,” D’Almada said, adding that, “obviously, people who get on a minibus to do not expect to be taken to a stranger’s house. No doubt they will be freaking out.”

She said Hiroki should have asked the police, the building guard or the driver for help.
“X,” giving evidence at the start of the trial on Sept 16, said she had drunk more than she could take between 11pm and 2am as she celebrated her birthday with friends. She was very drunk, dizzy, and “paralyzed” when she boarded the minibus in Central.

She said that when she got off the minibus terminus in Mong Kok, she was unaware of her surroundings and had blacked out. When she regained consciousness, she found herself naked in bed in a dim room. Despite her weakness, she got into her panties and shorts.

In his testimony, Hiroki said the woman sat beside him next to the window on the minibus from Central and was asleep the whole journey, sometimes leaning on him.

So he supported her with his arm around her shoulder and she took his hand and put it on her lap. In the last five to 10 minutes of the trip, she laid her head on his lap, he said.

In Mong Kok, “X” was too weak to get off the minibus but was half-conscious so he asked if she would like to rest in his flat on Nathan Road about 150 meters away. The woman reportedly replied “Unnng.”

He supported her with his arm for some distance but, as she was heavy, he carried her on his back and took her home. He then laid her on his bed, undressed her and wiped her whole body with wet towel.

They then kissed and hugged before having sex, he said.

Hiroki’s counsel, Oliver Davies, disputed “X’s” claim that she was unconscious. He cited a CCTV footage of the pair arriving in Hiroki’s apartment block that showed she was on her feet when they entered the lift.

However, the cameras also showed the woman looking very weak and unable to walk after her brief stay in Hiroki’s flat, so that the defendant had to carry her to a taxi.

The jury reviewed the CCTV footage and pictures of the pair’s arrival and exit from the block, in addition to hundreds of pages of police statements and transcripts of video recorded interviews of Hiroki.
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