Teen spared jail term, gets probation for underage sex

SINGAPORE - A full-time national serviceman was spared a jail term and given probation on Tuesday for underage sex with a minor.

Gil Dominic Barbosa Rojas, 19, a Singapore permanent resident, had faced 16 offences including four under the Children and Young Persons Act.

He was 16 and a student at the time while the victim was between 12 and 13.

He had pleaded guilty to three charges of having sex with a woman under 16 years old and one of committing an indecent act with the girl, then 13.

A Community Court had heard that the Filipino national made a friend request to the victim on Facebook sometime in December 2011 when she was still in Primary 6.

After learning that he was a friend of one of her friends, she accepted the request and both began communicating via Facebook.

They met for the first time at the end of that month.

Sometime in the first or second week of January 2012, they met at Eunos MRT station. He took her to a staircase landing of an unknown block of flats in Eunos Crescent estate. Initially, she refused to have sex with him but he told her it was okay. They had unprotected sex.

The following month, they met again at Eunos MRT station and he took her to the same staircase where she performed oral sex on him.

The indecent act was committed at the same place at the end of April.

Sometime in the middle of May, he took her to his home in Sims Avenue where they had sex.

After this, she began to feel that her relationship with Rojas was solely about sex and that he was making use of her to have sex. She confronted him and they ended their relationship when she felt that he was indifferent to her concerns.

She only confided in her friends who advised her to move on.

Sometime in late December that year, she read a newspaper article about a girl who had been raped and who encouraged victims of such crimes to come forth. The victim then told her parents about what had happened, and she lodged a police report.

Rojas' lawyer Louis Joseph said his client understands the seriousness of the offence and is not making any excuses for what he has done. He said Rojas is remorseful and contrite and had co-operated with the police.

District Judge Mathew Joseph placed him on 24 months' probation and ordered him to do 240 hours of community service. His parents put up a $5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour.

The maximum penalty for sex with a person under 16 years old is 10 years' jail and a fine on each charge. For committing an indecent act with a child, Rojas could have been fined up to $10,000 and/or jailed for up to five years.