Teen gets reformative training for statutory rape

A teen who raped a 13-year-old girl while he was on probation for earlier offences was on Tuesday sentenced to reformative training.

Joseph Lorrennzo Chia, 18, chatted the girl up on social networking site Facebook, then asked her to be his girlfriend. In August last year, she spent the night at his home. He coaxed her into having sex with him although she initially refused.

Earlier this year, he pleaded guilty to statutory rape, drug consumption and drug possession. Under the law, sex with a girl under 14, with or without her consent, is considered rape.

Chia, a school dropout, committed these offences while he was on probation for an earlier set of crimes, including sex with a minor, theft and making a false police report. He had initially been sentenced to reformative training, which can last between 18 months and three years, by a district court in 2011. He appealed to the High Court, which decided to give him a chance by setting aside the reformative training stint and placing him on probation for 30 months instead.