Naomi Tindall is 25 years old this year.
She alleges that in 2007, she was statutorily raped by Singaporean Youtuber Eden Ang in Christchurch, New Zealand. She was only 13 then, Eden was 19 at the time.
After our first article on Eden Ang was published at the end of February this year, Naomi’s sister Hannah emailed Rice Media on 6th March to inform us that Naomi wanted to share her recount.
Over the two months that followed, we spoke with Hannah, Mr and Mrs Tindall (her parents), and Naomi herself (collectively hereinafter the “Family”) to get their individual recounts of what they alleged happened. The Family also went through the Official Information Act 1982 No. 156 in New Zealand to retrieve the relevant police report made against Eden 11 years ago and Evidential Interview (the “NZ Police Documents”), which they then shared with us.
News articles on Eden’s career suggest that he was in Christchurch, New Zealand at the time of the alleged statutory rape. He was supposedly there completing his degree in Chinese studies at the University of Canterbury in Christchurch.
Naomi’s family is currently in contact with the Singapore Police Force (“SPF”), who are following up on this matter with them. According to the family, even though SPF has been informed, no official report has been lodged against Eden (with respect to the events contained in this article) as of the date of this publication. Rice Media’s understanding, however, is that the NZ Police Documents as well as the Family’s email correspondence with Rice Media (which were used in the production of this article) have been handed to SPF.
For clarity’s sake, everything that is within this article is gathered from and based off the Family’s recent recount, and/or substantiated by the NZ Police Documents.
Over the next few months, they struck up a friendship. According to Naomi, the friendship soon “became flirty over texts”. At the same time, she didn’t yet feel close enough to “reveal personal things”. Nonetheless, Eden seemed to Naomi like “a pleasant person to be around”.
Around the Easter holidays in 2007, Naomi received a phone call from Eden. Mrs Tindall took the call and proceeded to tell him not to speak with Naomi anymore as he was a lot older than her. Naomi affirms that Eden knew she was 13 years of age at that time.
In the weeks before she first went to his home (where the alleged statutory rape took place), Naomi met Eden a few times late at night at a nearby school.
On one of these occasions, Naomi “performed oral sex” on Eden for the first time. She recounted to us that the thought of it disgusted her at that age, since they supposedly met under the premise that he wanted to get to know her better.
“I was a 13-year-old being manipulated and made to believe this was normal. I met Eden a few times after this too, as he made me feel that this is what love was. I thought he wanted to be around me and continue a friendship,” she says.
After school that day, Naomi took a bus to Eden’s house to play him a song that she had written, as the two shared a passion for music. Naomi and Eden then went to Eden’s room, where she used his guitar to play him her song.
In the NZ Police Documents, Naomi mentioned that “they both took their clothes off and were in his bed under the blankets”.
The said Documents go on: “When asked what happened next, Naomi explained ‘it just happened’. She said she was lying on her back and he was at first beside her and then on top of her and he was moving. When asked about sex, Naomi said that he had put his penis in her vagina. She described it hurting for a few seconds.”
When asked in the Documents if she “wanted” this to happen, she replied “not really”, but added that “he would not have known that”.
Naomi also again confirmed that Eden knew how old she was at that time, especially since “earlier in the year, her parents had told him to leave her alone, because she was 13 years old.”
As for why she didn’t leave after playing the song for him on his guitar, Naomi recounts feeling a “great deal of pressure” to stay.
She says, “Having been groomed for months with the weak mind of a child, I felt that he had power over me. I thought it was okay for a grown man to violate a young girl’s body, no matter how much it hurt.”
After the alleged statutory rape, Eden didn’t force her to stay. Naomi even vaguely recalls him making himself a bowl of food. But she couldn’t leave his house without his help because she didn’t know the area well, she recalls. As such, Eden helped her with bus money to get home and walked her to the bus stop.
After the incident, Naomi recounted that she didn’t tell anyone or make a report right away.
A few days later, when Naomi eventually approached her sister, Hannah, to tell her what happened, Hannah recounted that her sister appeared shaken and nervous. She says that Naomi, being only 13 years old at the time, may not have “100% understood what happened to her or why it was wrong”.
In the NZ Police Documents, Naomi was also asked if Eden “had ever said to her that he shouldn’t be doing that”. Her reply was that he did text her after the alleged statutory rape because “he felt guilty as she was 13 years old”.
Given how ‘normal’ he treated her after the alleged statutory rape, Naomi told us she spent years thinking it was her fault for what happened.
On 11 August 2007, Hannah told her parents what Naomi shared with her.
On 12 August 2007, Mr and Mrs Tindall approached Naomi. Naomi held onto her mother, buried her head in her mother’s shoulders, and asked her mother not to cry. She then said that she had sex with Eden but did not understand why she had.
On 13 August 2007, the Family went down to the Christchurch police station to give Naomi’s first statement. On the same day, Mr and Mrs Tindall visited the ice rink to talk to them about Eden. The ice rink said they couldn’t act on their information and would not stop him from working with the children.
On 21 August 2007, Naomi recorded a video interview with the police.
On 8 October 2007, Naomi met with two police officers, together with her parents, for the final time. During this session, Mr and Mrs Tindall say that the police told them that “they wanted to close the case, as they felt [Naomi] wasn’t strong enough to give evidence in court and the case against Eden would collapse”.
Mrs Tindall recounts that the police said Eden “looked like a little boy” and therefore it would be plausible that they “interpreted that the ‘relationship’ between Eden and Naomi was ‘equal’ despite the age difference”. Even though the Family “pleaded” with the Christchurch police at the time, and even told them that what happened would constitute statutory rape in the UK and US, the Christchurch police “dismissed this”.
Mrs Tindall further states, “The whole meeting was about bringing this case to an end. We could not understand this and still do not.”
In the end, the Family understands that the Christchurch police gave Eden a formal warning without charging him.
Naomi states that a hate site about her was created on Bebo.com, where it claimed she was pregnant with Eden’s baby. Hannah recalls that the site “was made up by the same ‘friends’ who bullied [Naomi] at school”. The site also called Naomi derogatory names, such as “slag”.
Hannah says that Naomi even had to stop figure skating, which she loved, as she couldn’t go back to the rink. This was because Naomi feared triggering her memory about the alleged incident.
Finally, in July 2008, the Family moved back to the UK, where they were originally from.
Mrs Tindall says, “We were never offered victim support or counseling for Naomi by the police. She was totally ignored by the justice system and we did not want to live in a country like that. We knew that the only way to protect Naomi and our family was to relocate back to the UK.”
In 2008, they found out through the internet that Eden had moved back to Singapore. To allow Naomi to recover and not have to relive the entire ordeal, the Family made a collective decision to not pursue the matter further.
Naomi is acutely aware of the possible consequences that could arise from publishing her recount and releasing extracts of the NZ Police Documents. Be that as it may, Naomi decided to come forward with her recount and allow circulation of extracts from the NZ Police Documents to ensure other alleged survivors would not have to go through what she did.
Revisiting the NZ Police Documents more than a decade later, Naomi says she doesn’t understand why the Christchurch police included phrases such as “besotted with Ang”, “in a relationship with Ang”, and “has gone into this relationship willingly”, as though implying that there wasn’t anything wrong with what she alleged happened.
From Rice Media’s own research, we understand that in Singapore, a minor cannot give consent.
This is the same in New Zealand, according to NZ Legislation. The Age of Consent in New Zealand is 16 years old. As such, individuals under 16 years of age in New Zealand are not legally able to consent to sexual activity, and such activity may result in prosecution for statutory rape or the equivalent local law.
Additionally, Rice Media has also learnt from speaking to a lawyer in Singapore that Section 3 of Singapore’s Penal Code (Cap. 224) allows for offences committed by any person (liable by law) in a foreign jurisdiction to be tried in Singapore.
Section 3 states: “Any person liable by law to be tried for an offence committed beyond the limits of Singapore, shall be dealt with according to the provisions of this Code for any act committed beyond Singapore, in the same manner as if such act had been committed within Singapore.”
As a parting note, Mrs Tindall shared with us that for 11 years, her daughter never came to terms with the fact that the alleged statutory rape wasn’t her fault. It was only this year, and in response to the online reports about the allegations against Eden, that Naomi finally felt there was a chance she would be believed.
i. This piece would not have been possible without the assistance of the Tindall family.
ii. Since publishing our first article on the allegations against Eden, we reached out to Mediacorp, who had hired Eden for Tanglin, to understand their stance on the allegations. Mediacorp confirmed that Eden had worked with the company on a freelance basis on specific projects, including Tanglin, and would not be appearing in future episodes of the series.
Karen Yew, Head of Brand and Communications of Mediacorp, said, “We cannot comment on the case, but regard any allegations seriously, and have processes in place for addressing them.”
iii. We reached out to Eden on 9 May 2018 via Whatsapp. He had no comment on the allegations in this article.
iv. If you have experienced any form of sexual assault or harassment, please contact AWARE’s Sexual Assault Care Centre at 6779 0282 or email them at email@example.com. More information can be found here.
v. Have something to say about this article? Drop our writer a note at firstname.lastname@example.org.