Jobless man jailed 2 years for having sex with girl, 12

A 33-year-old unemployed man who had sex with a minor when she was drunk was jailed for two years yesterday.
A 33-year-old unemployed man who had sex with a minor when she was drunk was jailed for two years yesterday.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

They were in a relationship at the time and drunk when incident happened in chalet

A 33-year-old unemployed man who had sex with a minor when she was drunk was jailed for two years yesterday.

Oh Boon Yaw was 18 years older than the girl when he had sex with the drunken 12-year-old in a chalet in East Coast Parkway some time in August 2012.

He pleaded guilty on Sept 28.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Puvaneswari Sandirasekaran said Oh and the girl befriended each other in a LAN online gaming outlet at Bukit Timah Shopping Centre during the June school holidays in 2012. She told him her age.

After a while, they met up often and began a relationship. About two months later, the girl, Oh and some of their friends went to the chalet. They spent the night drinking alcohol and playing games.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Puvaneswari Sandirasekaran, who sought a prison sentence of at least 24 months, said the victim was young and vulnerable. She also said there was a substantial age gap of about 18 years between the duo, and there was no consent given to have sex.

Both the girl and Oh were drunk that night. Oh slept beside her on the same bed while the friends slept on the other bed in the same room.

Oh became aroused and undressed her. She woke up and saw him getting up on top of her. She did not stop him as she was drunk and sleepy.

Ms Puvaneswari, who sought a prison sentence of at least 24 months, said the victim was young and vulnerable. She also said there was a substantial age gap of about 18 years between the duo, and there was no consent given to have sex.

She highlighted that Oh in this case was "opportunistic" as he had committed the offence when the girl was drunk and unable to give her consent.

"The prosecution is not disputing that they were in a relationship at the material time. But this is a strict liability offence where the law protects and acts like a blanket for the young girls below the age of 16, to ensure that men do not take advantage of them as they are still immature in making the decision of having sex,'' she said.

Oh's lawyer, Mr Chu Hua Yi, who was assigned under the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said in mitigation that Oh had a difficult childhood and was abused by his father when he was disciplining him.

Oh became very reclusive, kept to himself and got bullied in school. He dropped out of the Institute of Technical Education and did not have anyone to talk to about his feelings, until he met the girl, he said.

Mr Chu said Oh fell in love with her. He added that when their relationship ended in 2012, Oh used a penknife to cut his palm and suffered permanent disability.

In her testimonial, Oh's younger sister recalled there was one night when the whole family was trembling with fear when the father was caning Oh using a bundle of canes, among other things. He grabbed Oh by his hair, rammed his head against a wall, held a chopper against his face and shouted furiously.

Oh, who was in tears as he was led away to begin his sentence, could have been jailed for up to 20 years and liable to a fine or to caning for having sex with a person under the age of 14.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 13, 2015, with the headline 'Jobless man jailed 2 years for having sex with girl, 12'. Print Edition | Subscribe