Ex-IT specialist in threesome jailed 6 months for causing minor to have sex

SINGAPORE - A former information technology specialist who caused a minor to have sex with an 18-year-old part-time model in the first case of its kind was sentenced to six months' jail on Wednesday.

The 41-year-old, who cannot be named, took photographs of the poses and sexual acts between the minor, then 15, and the teenage model whom he had hired for a "couple shoot'' at Conrad Centennial Hotel sometime in late October or early November 2012.

At some point, the accused put the camera on "auto'' mode, took off his clothes and joined the minor and the model on the bed and engaged in sexual activity with her.

The accused, a Singapore permanent resident, is from India and has been working for an IT company for 13 years before he quit.

Two other charges including procuring the minor to perform an obscene act on the model were taken into consideration during his sentencing.

The minor came to know the accused, a photography enthusiast, in late October 2012 when the latter advertised online for an "extra man'' to "fulfil my girlfriend's fantasies''. Curious, the minor wanted to find out more and clicked a link confirming he was 18 years or older.

The two chatted online. The minor sent the accused a photograph as requested, and told him he was 18.

That weekend, the accused met the minor and the model at the hotel where the accused had booked a room.

The model told the minor she was a second-year polytechnic student but had just dropped out of school. The minor said he was a first-year student at the Singapore Polytechnic.

The accused had assured the minor, who felt uncomfortable and awkward during the session, that they were meant for his personal use.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said the accused neither ascertained nor verified the minor's age. It was him who recruited and led the minor into sexual activity at a tender age, directed and told him what to do, making him perform all sorts of lewd acts, culminating in a sexual threesome.

She argued that there was a strong element of moral corruption of the sexually inexperienced minor by the accused.

The offences came to light early last year when the minor's guardian's son saw the photographs of the minor involved in the threesome on the Internet. The minor lodged a report the next day, on Jan 9.

In his oral grounds of decision, District Judge Victor Yeo said the offence was serious and a jail sentence was clearly warranted.

The fact that the accused did not directly engage in sex with the minor was hardly a mitigating factor given the facts and circumstances of this case, he said.

"The accused was not a mere bystander or passive photographer in this entire episode. He was an active participant and was engaging in a sexual activity with the very same girl at the very same time and place as the minor,'' he said.

Judge Yeo also said he was particularly perturbed by the fact that there was a strong element of moral corruption on the minor, who was a virgin at the time.

It is understood that the model will not be charged.

The accused, represented by Mr Vinit Chhabra, was allowed to begin his sentence on Monday to settle his personal affairs.

He could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined.