SINGAPORE - Using a pseudonym on Facebook, a security guard befriended four girls aged 11 to 13, including a pair of twins he was two-timing, and went on to sexually exploit them.
Benjamin Sim Wei Liang, 30, who admitted to a slew of offences - including statutory rape - against the girls between November 2012 and January 2013, was on Wednesday sentenced to 20 1/2 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
He sexually violated the girls in public toilets, staircase landings and even the backseat of a taxi. He asked them to send him naked pictures of themselves.
And in the cases of two girls, he took them to his parents' condominium at Woodleigh Close, off Upper Serangoon Road, and had sex with them in his bedroom.
The High Court heard that Sim first got to know the older twin in November 2012 using a Facebook account in the name of Peter Tan. They exchanged phone numbers and she agreed to be his girlfriend.
During their relationship of a few weeks, Sim asked her to send him pictures of her naked body. She sent him photos of her breasts and genitalia.
After she told her twin about "Peter Tan", the younger girl added Sim as a Facebook friend. On the same day, he asked her to be his girlfriend. She said yes.
Over the next two months, Sim met the sisters separately and bought them each a mobile phone.
He groped the older twin on a taxi and outside a school.
He went further with the younger twin - he groped her on a bus, violated her with his finger at staircase landings and handicapped toilets in shopping malls and asked her to perform oral sex on him. Twice, he took her home and asked for sex.
All this time, Sim continued to befriend other girls on Facebook.
He asked an 11-year-old to show him her breasts; she sent him two pictures - one of hers and the other of her cousin's - and also a video.
He chatted with a 13-year-old, asking about her vital statistics and sex life. He later had sex with her at home, violated her in public toilets and committed a lewd act on her in the backseat of a taxi.
On Dec 15, 2012, the twins' mother found the mobile phone that Sim had given the younger girl, confronted her and took her to make a police report. At first, the girl told police she was raped but later admitted that sex was consensual.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhong Zewei asked for a long sentence, pointing to the brazen acts against victims unprepared to handle sexual relationships. The older twin felt "very bad" for introducing her sister to Sim, the DPP noted.
Sim's lawyer Edmond Pereira said the Institute of Technical Education dropout gravitates towards younger people as it was hard for him to relate to his peers due to low self-worth and awkward social skills. Sim, who has below average intelligence, had believed it was not wrong to have sex with the girls as long as they consented, he said.