DAVID WALKER / STUFF / Trick
Akil Rohen Singh’s trial began on Monday in Christchurch District Court. (File photo)
When a man accused of strangling and raping a sex worker was questioned by police, he immediately denied the allegations, saying he had not engaged in sexual activity with the woman.
After being confronted with evidence in the form of a used condom that contained both his and the complainant’s DNA, he quickly changed his story.
But it wasn’t rape, he said – he paid her $ 40 for his sexual services.
Akil Rohen Singh’s lawyer Andrew McCormick told a jury on the first day of trial in Christchurch District Court on Monday that his client initially admitted to lying to police.
“But in this trial you will understand why he lied,” McCormick said.
Singh, 27, is charged with rape, strangulation and two counts of sexual violation by illegal sexual connection, pleading not guilty to all counts.
The Crown told the jury that the alleged offense took place in December 2018 after Singh and her friend picked up the complainant from Manchester St in Christchurch, where she worked as a sex worker.
Crown Attorney Sean Mallett said the trio returned to the defendant’s home, where she was paid to have sex with Singh’s friend.
Subsequently, Singh offered to drive her back to Manchester St, but instead parked in an empty parking lot on Stanmore Rd.
According to Mallett, Singh picked up the complainant’s phone and said he wouldn’t return it until she did exactly what he said.
Mallett said the woman was ready to do whatever he wanted, but wanted to be paid for her services.
Singh allegedly forced her to sit in the back seat of the vehicle, where he raped, strangled and sexually assaulted her.
In a video interview released in court, the complainant told police that when Singh strangled her, she could feel herself struggling to breathe.
“I thought I was going to die,” she said. “He threw me in the back seat like I was some kind of rag doll. I froze. He forced me… ”.
She said Singh put on a condom “halfway”.
Mallett said Singh returned the woman to Manchester Rd about 45 minutes later.
Police then found the used condom in the parking lot and it was sent for forensic testing. Singh’s semen was found inside, while the complainant’s DNA was found on the outside.
When Singh was first arrested, he denied the allegations, saying he would not pick up a sex worker if he was not alone and that he certainly would not engage in sexual activity in his own home. car.
When confronted with CCTV footage showing his car entering the parking lot, Singh admitted he picked up the complainant, but said they “just smoked a few cigarettes”.
On Monday, McCormick said Singh has now admitted that he initially lied to police.
“But he says the reason you’re here is that [the complainant] is lying.”
Singh claimed he paid the complainant $ 40 for a sexual act she committed while wearing a condom.
McCormick asked the jury to keep an open mind while listening to the evidence.
“You are going to hear from a number of witnesses, and it will be a slice of life that you may not have encountered.
“You’ll hear about drugs, gangs, sex, prostitutes – a lot of things you might read in the papers, but over the course of this week you’re going to be making decisions. “
The trial continues on Tuesday.