A couple accused of raping their foreign domestic worker has been acquitted of four charges by a jury on Friday.

Chan Chim-tak, who was 44 years old when the incident took place, was accused of one count of attempted rape and one count of rape. His now ex-wife Lai Chi-san, who was 32 at the time, was accused of one count of indecent assault and one count of aiding and abetting rape.

High Court
High Court. Photo: Kelly Ho/HKFP.

The pair was acquitted unanimously by a seven-person jury at the High Court on Friday. After the jury delivered its verdict, High Court Judge Alex Lee told the prosecutor that the result was not related to the prosecution’s performance.

“Actually you have performed really well, it is an issue of evidence,” Lee said, according to a Ming Pao report.

According to the prosecution, the pair raped their Filipina domestic worker, X, at their home in Yuen Long in 2018, the Witness reported.

The prosecutor said that on the night of the incident, Lai told X said “sir want you” and said they would “pay money,” before asking X to go to the master bedroom. Chan then had unprotected sex with X after Lai performed oral sex on Chan.

Lee, Alex 李運騰.JPG
Justice Alex Lee. Photo: Judiciary.

Lai was watching during the entirety of the incident, and fondled X’s breast during the act, the prosecutor said. Chan paid X HK$150 after the incident.

The following day, X asked for help from staff members of her employment agency and contacted the police.

Defence’s case

Lai did not testify during the trial, while Chan refuted the prosecution’s case.

According to Chan, he “had some sexual fantasy and wanted to make love to [X]” after having some eye contact with X while teaching her how to make deep-fried pork large intestine, and feeding her a bite, Ming Pao reported.

Chan said he suggested that X sleep with him in the master bedroom, and after X smiled and nodded her head, they had sex. Chan testified saying that X wore an expression like “an affectionate young married woman.”

He paid X HK$150 after the incident, and was slapped by Lai after she learned what had happened. The pair decided to get a divorce several days after the incident, Chan said.

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Candice is a reporter at Hong Kong Free Press. She previously worked as a researcher at a local think tank. She has a BSocSc in Politics and International Relations from the University of Manchester and a MSc in International Political Economy from London School of Economics.