SOURCE: The Straits Times Online
In the space of 14 months, a logistics executive raped, sexually assaulted or molested, 22 women he had just met.
The women, aged 18 to 41, were mostly unconscious when attacked by Azuar Ahamad between July 2008 and August 2009.
When they came to, they had no recollection of what had happened. When they telephoned him to ask, he told them they had drunk too much and that he had had to take care of them.
Some were suspicious and went to the police.
In the High Court yesterday, Azuar, 41, pleaded guilty to raping three women and sexually assaulting a fourth.
Thirty other charges - including two other rapes, two sexual assaults and 14 cases of outrage of modesty, as well as theft - will be considered in sentencing.
The prosecution is seeking for Azuar to be jailed for 45 years, one of the longest jail terms the State has sought for a criminal.
Azuar will be sentenced after a further hearing, as he is disputing that he administered stupefying drugs to the women he sexually assaulted or raped. He is claiming that they drank themselves into a stupor.
The prosecution wants to produce doctors who will testify that Azuar obtained Dormicum and other sedatives from them under false pretences.
A pharmacist will testify that the symptoms described by the victims indicate that they were drugged. The names of the victims cannot be published due to the nature of the offences.
The court heard that Azuar was a logistics executive until June 2009. Investigations revealed he had forged his ex-wife's O- and A-level certificates to apply for this position. He adopted several names and personas while committing the crimes, including Denny Azar, Denny Susanto, Shawn Rozario Tan, Shawn Tan and Terence Shawn Tan.
Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo told the court that Azuar was first arrested in February 2009 on suspicion of drugging a woman at a cafe in Bishan a few months earlier. He was released on $30,000 bail but was arrested again on July31 that year for outraging a woman's modesty. His bail was increased to $40,000.
He was arrested yet again on Aug18 for outraging the modesty of a woman at a Balestier hotel three days prior. His bail was revoked.
Police found video clips stored on his two cellphones showing him raping or sexually assaulting women. They were able to contact the victims as their numbers were stored in his cellphones.
The crimes followed a pattern: Azuar would find the women through a Facebook application called SpeedDate, meet up with them, get them to a nightspot, render them helpless, then rape or molest them in hotels before sending them home.
A senior associate with a bank told police she got to know a Shawn Tan through SpeedDate in 2009. Shawn, who was actually Azuar, claimed to be a dentist working at a private hospital.
On July 4, 2009, they met at a club in North Bridge Road. After drinking something he had ordered for her, she became unaware of her surroundings. He took her to a hotel in Lavender Street and filmed himself raping her before checking out with her at 2am.
She woke up at home and when she called Azuar, he claimed she had been intimate with him. As she was unable to recall this, she dropped the matter. Only when she was called up by the police did she realise that he had raped her and filmed it.
Azuar, who has previous convictions for cheating, outrage of modesty and administering stupefying drugs to women, is represented by Mr Suresh Damodara and Mr Leonard Hazra under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme. For each count of rape, he could be jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned.
Check out more court stories in the Courtroom