SINGAPORE - A man who performed oral sex on a 12-year-old boy at a park toilet was sentenced to the minimum jail term of eight years by the High Court on Friday (July 21).
Chua Hock Leong, 63, who is married with two grown-up children, denied performing oral sex on the boy in a cubicle for the handicapped in a toilet in Tampines Eco Green.
He said the boy had called out to him and made sexual overtures by asking if he wanted to "play". Chua also said he did not have any sexual contact with the boy.
Justice Choo Han Teck rejected his version of events, saying it had too many gaps.
On the other hand, the boy's testimony was supported by forensic evidence. For instance, Chua's version did not explain why his DNA was found on the inside of the boy's boxer shorts, said the judge.
During the trial, the court heard that on the morning of Jan 27 last year, the boy was waiting for his friend to be dismissed from school, when he said "hi" to Chua. The two had never met before. He said Chua gave him $2 in return for going with him to the park.
The boy said he went to use the toilet cubicle and Chua barged in and performed oral sex on him. After about a minute, the boy pushed him away and ran out.
His mother later made a police report.
Chua's lawyer Vijay Kumar on Friday said in mitigation that this was Chua's first brush with the law. He added that the boy did not suffer any post-traumatic stress disorder as a result of the incident.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Nicholas Lai, however, submitted victim impact statements from the boy and his mother to show there was psychological impact.
The boy, now 14, said he used to be a friendly person but he is now afraid of older men. He has dropped out of school and no longer goes out on his own.
"I am young and, in my mind, I thought older people would take care of younger people," said the boy. He added that he was traumatised and felt ashamed.
Prosecutors asked for 12 years' jail and another 24 weeks in prison instead of caning. Chua cannot be caned as he is over 50.
The boy's 33-year-old mother said: "I used to teach my children to respect and be helpful to elderly people. After what happened, I don't know whether my teaching was correct. Now, I tell them not to trust strangers."