A 20-year-old Hong Kong student has been convicted of raping a 12-year-old girl after a seven-member jury returned a guilty verdict on Monday.

Fong Ka-lok appeared in front of the jury and judge Anna Lai at the High Court, local media reported. He was accused of raping the girl, who lived in the same building as him, in Tai Wai in October 2020.

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

The girl was autistic, the court heard. She has also been diagnosed with attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, the prosecution said, according to local media.

The girl earlier testified that Fong had dragged her into the stairwell of the residential building when she was returning home from school, local media reported. Fong was accused of taking off her face mask and trying to kiss her. The 20-year-old also asked her to take off her underwear and penetrated her genitalia with his penis, the court heard. The victim also said Fong had asked her to perform oral sex, but she refused.

dark stairwell
Photo: Ian Noble, via Unsplash.

Fong admitted to touching the girl’s genitals, but only with his hand, according to local media. He also admitted to touching her breasts and said that he had asked the girl to perform oral sex on him three times.

Local media reported that Fong’s semen was found on the girl’s school uniform. He earlier admitted to one count of indecent assault.

Guiding the jury

After a trial lasting more than a week, judge Lai addressed the jury on Monday morning. She told them there were three elements that constitute a rape offence, the Witness reported. These were whether intercourse had occurred, whether the complainant gave consent and whether the defendant knowingly disregarded the complainant’s unwillingness to have intercourse.

The jury started deliberations at around 11:15 a.m. and returned a guilty verdict after four hours. Lai ordered a trauma report into the girl’s psychological well-being, as well as a mental health report for Fong.

The case was adjourned to December 1 for sentencing. Fong was remanded in custody.

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Almond Li is a Hong Kong-based journalist who previously worked for Reuters and Happs TV as a freelancer, and as a reporter at Hong Kong International Business Channel, Citizen News and Commercial Radio Hong Kong. She earned her Masters in Journalism at the University of Southern California. She has an interest in LGBT+, mental health and environmental issues.