SINGAPORE - A Pokemon player who went on to have a sexual relationship with a 14-year-old girl he met at a trading card competition was sentenced to 11 months in jail on Friday.
Jobless Xavier Chua Cheng Hao, 25, pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual penetration of a minor. Eight similar charges, two under the Films Act and one of sexual exploitation of a minor - the victim's schoolmate - were considered during his sentencing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Kelly Ho said Chua, then 22, came to know the girl, then in Secondary 1, in late 2012 at a regional Pokemon event and kept in touch with her on Facebook.
The girl was attracted to Chua and expressed her feelings for him but he rejected her, citing their age gap.
During one conversation, the girl told him about some sexually graphic material that she had read in a novel. Chua told her that she could call him if she wanted to experience anything of a sexual nature.
They began discussing the possibility of them engaging in sexual activities. She agreed to perform a sex act on him even though they were not in a relationship as she thought that he would change his mind if she did so, said DPP Ho.
Their sexual activities lasted from May 2013 until October 2014, when the girl gave up hope of having a relationship with him.
The trysts took place at his old house in Sunrise Way in Yio Chu Kang, the public poolside toilet of Cabana Condominium where his family moved to, and a stairwell of a multi-storey carpark in Hougang.
"Throughout the period when they were engaging in sexual activities, the accused knew that V1 (victim) had feelings for him but never considered entering into a relationship with V1 as he did not have feelings for her," said DPP Ho.
Chua was caught when the parents of the victim's schoolmate found him at their home. A naked photo of him was found on her phone, and the girl had sent him photos of herself in various states of undress.
Chua's lawyer Amolat Singh said his client has a communications degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo and represented Singapore in the World Pokemon Championship in Boston last year.
Counsel said his client is remorseful and determined to change.
Seeking a sentence of 10 to 12 months' jail, DPP Ho said Chua had no qualms in taking advantage of the victim's love for him by having sex with her.
She said he had thus taken "systematic and calculated steps" to commit the offences.
Chua, who could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined per charge, was allowed to defer sentence until Feb 12.