An Indian man who came to Canada on a student visa has lost an appeal of his convictions for uttering threats, forcible confinement and sexual assault, which the Court of Appeal for British Columbia affirmed he committed against a 17-year-old girl within four months of his arrival in this country.
The court heard Rajan Singh was 20 when he met the girl on a dating app. He told the court that before they met in person they agreed to get married. She denied this.
The case centred on an incident on April 19, 2017. There is a publication ban on any information that could identify the victim. The court heard they went on a single date on April 11, 2017. Singh claimed she asked for an engagement ring, which she denied.
The court heard the pair agreed to meet at the Newton bus exchange on her way to school. She said he asked her if she wanted to get a coffee, then told her he forgot his wallet at home and they took a bus to his house.
Singh denied this, telling the court he never asked her if she wanted coffee and it was her idea to go to his place.
They ended up in his bedroom. Singh testified it was her idea to have sex. He said she later needed to get back to school, he accompanied her to the bus stop, they held hands on the way and as she was leaving threw him a kiss.
When the girl got to school, she told a counsellor she’d been sexually assaulted, was taken to hospital for a medical exam, gave a statement to police and Singh was arrested shortly after.
The Surrey provincial court judge who convicted Singh found Singh’s story “ludicrous” that the victim wanted to marry him before the even met in person. To believe his account, the Surrey judge said, he would have to accept that the girl consented to have sex with Singh and then immediately after that turned on him and accused him of a sex crime.
“There is no basis in the evidence before me to account for such a vindictive and malicious intent,” the Surrey judge found. “In short, Mr. Singh’s evidence does not accord with common sense.”