High Court, Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons
The High Court in Hong Kong. Photo: Wikimedia Commons

A High Court judge on Wednesday sentenced an African construction worker to nine years’ jail for indecently assaulting and raping his maid two years ago.

Madam Justice Esther Toh Lye-ping also ordered Kokou Afla Apelete to pay his victim, a 32-year-old Filipino domestic, HK$48,120 (US$6,181) as compensation for loss of income.

During the sentencing hearing, Madam Justice Toh said she was appalled at what had happened, and slammed Apelete, 37, for taking advantage of his helper’s vulnerability and victimizing her both physically and financially, Sing Tao Daily reported.

Madam Justice Toh also slammed Apelete for causing more harm and putting financial pressure on the victim who had to leave her job as a saleswoman in the Philippines to testify in court in Hong Kong.

Apelete has lived and worked in the city for 10 years and is married to a Hong Kong resident. He was convicted of indecent assault and rape in an earlier court hearing. 

Read: Employer jailed after appeal denied for indecent assault on maid

The court earlier heard that the Filipina – who had worked for the family in Kingston Terrace, Tuen Mun, as a domestic helper since 2014 – had rejected Apelete’s advances three times, Oriental Daily reported.

On August 25, 2015, Apelete came home at 1pm and pressured the Filipina again to be his lover, but she refused. He then forced himself on her, kissing her on the face and breasts. She pleaded for him to stop and fled to her room, but he followed her and she was raped.

The Filipina, who is the financial pillar of her family in the Philippines, could not face being a maid again in Hong Kong because she was still traumatized.

She was depressed, easily scared, could not sleep well, and constantly worried about contracting a sexually transmitted disease because Apelete did not wear a condom when he raped her.

Read: Canadian jailed in Singapore for filming maid in toilet