Filipino DW on child abuse case given suspended sentence by the court
Filipino domestic worker Remy Rosaga left the Eastern Court Magistracy with a smile on her face. After months of anxiety thinking about the accusations made against her by her former employer, she is excited to see her family back in the Philippines.
Rosaga was charged with one count of “Assault by those in charge of the child or young person” at Eastern Magistracy court in Sai Wan Ho on Oct. 5 this year. After several adjournments, on Jan. 6, her case was heard again.
The case pertains to an event that happened on July 22, 2021. The court report said that her male employer heard his son crying in their living room at Koway Court, Chai Wan, and called the police. When the 1st police officer arrived at the scene, Police said that Rosaga was carrying the boy. The CCTV installed was checked and viewed that Rosaga slapped the head of the boy once using her left hand that made the boy cry. The incident was reported at the Police station, and 2nd police officer arrived at the scene and Rosaga was arrested under caution. Under the initial investigation and further caution of the 3rd Police officer with Tagalog and English interpreters, Rosaga said she tapped the head of the boy. On Oct. 5, after an investigation by the police, Rosaga was charged with assaulting her 4-year old ward.
The employment contract of Rosaga was terminated by her employer and she stayed at the shelter while the case was ongoing.
On January 6 at Eastern Magistracy court, inside courtroom number 1, Rosaga’s case was called past 12:00 noon after hours of waiting at the gallery as she was on bail. “Guilty”, Rosaga answered when asked in Tagalog by a Filipino court translator the charge against her.
The prosecutor did not have much to say when the Principal Magistrate Ms. Ada Yim called her after Rosaga pleaded guilty. In contrast, Rosaga’s Counsel delivered a long speech for mitigation.
Rosaga’s counsel said that Rosaga was very sorry and had shown much remorse after the incident. Her counsel explained that Rosaga tapped the head of the boy only once and hugged him immediately when the boy cried to console the boy. She continued saying that when the father brought the boy to the hospital after the incident, the doctor who checked the boy found that there were no bruises, injuries, and no swelling on the head or other body parts. The boy had no recollection of the incident when he was interviewed by the Social Welfare staff of the hospital, the counsel added. All documents were submitted to Magistrate Yim.
For further support of her case, it was stated that Rosaga had worked in Hong Kong for 6 years without any record with the police before this case. The counsel also informed the Magistrate that Rosaga was suffering from a kidney problem and wanted to go back to the Philippines to get treated there.
The Magistrate responded to the counsel that assaulting a child is a serious offense, but, as Rosaga pleaded guilty and heard the mitigation presented by the Counsel she gave her a sentence of two weeks imprisonment suspended for 18 months. This means that Rosaga will be able to leave the court freely but if she were to violate any Hong Kong law within the period of 18 months, she will be imprisoned for two weeks in addition to the punishment of whatever violation she made in breaking the suspension sentence.
Rosaga said that she’s happy with the result of the case as she was not in jail and happy that she will be back with her family soon in the Philippines, after a deep breath, when asked any comment on the result of the case outside the court at Eastern Magistracy.