Hong Kong health therapist found guilty of raping German tourist

But defendant acquitted of indecent sexual assault relating to local woman

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, 8:03am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 23 May, 2017, 8:03am

A Hong Kong court found a health consultant guilty on Monday of raping a German tourist after overpowering her with a date rape drug two years ago.

The High Court previously heard the woman, then 23, fell asleep after drinking a “fruit smoothie” laced with Flunitrazepam, and woke up to find herself naked, with Man Yiu-fai raping her.

Man did not react as the seven-member jury of four men and three women returned the unanimous verdicts after eight hours of deliberation on one count of rape and another of administering drugs to obtain or facilitate unlawful sexual act.

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The jury also unanimously cleared him of an indecent assault charge in relation to a Hong Kong woman, who claimed to have lost consciousness after Man gave her two cups of drinks in December 2014. When she woke up, she found her upper body naked and her underpants pulled down, while Man’s face was close enough to kiss hers.

He was similarly accused of drugging the woman with intent to stupefy or overpower her to enable him to commit “an unlawful sexual act”.

But deputy High Court judge Mr Justice Michael Stuart-Moore made a surprise direction for the jury to acquit Man on that charge after jurors sought further explanation on the definition of indecent assault, which led to prosecutors realising that “unlawful sexual act” did not include their case of indecent assault under the Crimes Ordinance.

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“It turns out all of us are at fault for failing to realise that [an] unlawful sexual act can only mean sexual intercourse or other serious acts like buggery,” the judge said after the jury retired on the ninth day of trial. “I direct you to acquit.”

Rape carries a maximum penalty of life imprisonment, while the other charge is punishable by 14 years in jail.

Mitigation and sentencing are scheduled for July 5, pending the victim’s impact assessment report.

The case centred on a powerful hypnotic and sleep-inducing drug named Flunitrazepam that is legally marketed as Rohypnol.

The court previously heard the German tourist, who regularly visited Hong Kong to see her boyfriend, was introduced to Man through a friend after complaining of back pain.

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During a visit to his Mong Kok office on May 31, 2015, the woman was offered a cup of “black, thick liquid” with an alcoholic smell that resembled a fruit smoothie.

Before she could finish it, her body became too heavy to control and her attempts to call for help came out as whispers.

She was then raped, with Man secretly filming it on his wristwatch.

The defence had argued the woman consented to sexual intercourse after he offered her a massage with only her underpants on. She also admitted to touching his abdomen while his trousers were lowered to perform a Japanese relaxation massage technique known as reiki.