Hong Kong police officer gets 5½ years’ jail for hotel room rape
Lee Wai-ka, 30, called himself ‘scum’ and tearfully begged for forgiveness from victim he had impregnated
A Hong Kong police officer who called himself “scum” after raping an acquaintance and getting her pregnant was jailed for 5½ years on Tuesday by a judge who lectured him on women’s rights.
Deputy High Court judge Poon Siu-tung told Lee Wai-ka: “Women have every right not be sexually harassed.”
They enjoyed that same right while intoxicated, he added.
“As a friend, one should protect her, not sexually harass her,” the judge said.
Lee, 30, was found guilty of rape in December. He raped the victim – referred to as X to protect her identity – in a Kowloon Tong hotel on June 19, 2016 after she “drank to oblivion” at a party they attended. X became pregnant from the incident.
At first, Lee denied being the father. But he later went to X’s home in tears to beg for forgiveness, when it appeared that she would call police after finding out she was pregnant.
He told her he was scum at one point.
The judge said on Tuesday that although it was not a premeditated attack, nor did it involve any violence, it could not be regarded as “not serious”.
He noted that X, a former drug user who was now clean, fought hard to get back on her feet.
But the trauma had left X, who used to suffer from psychiatric conditions, plagued by anxiety and insomnia, while reading news reports about the case made her suicidal. She had also lost her job.
“It is obvious that the crime was committed because of extreme foolishness and based on wrong decisions,” the judge said.
But Poon also said it was far from an easy task to sentence Lee, who gave up his chance to go to university to join the police as a means to support his single mother. He had finished top of his class at the police college, winning the prestigious Silver Whistle award for his year.
Lee’s girlfriend was in court to offer her support with their baby, who was born on the day the officer was convicted a month ago.
The judge considered Lee’s situation and background, and reduced his jail sentence by one year from the original six and a half years.
Meanwhile, police commissioner Stephen Lo Wai-chung revealed on Tuesday that a total of 29 police officers were arrested in 2017, compared with 43 in 2016.
“We pay close attention to officers’ conduct ... but the number of arrests is comparatively small as it only accounts for less than 0.1 per cent of the entire force,” Lo said. “It means that 99.9 per cent of our officers are still standing fast in their duties and protecting Hong Kong.”
Among the 29 arrests, 15 involved criminal cases in which the suspects were detained by police.
Another 11 were nabbed by other law enforcers. The remaining were arrested by police over non-criminal cases such as drink driving.
Additional reporting by Christy Leung