18 months' jail for maid who sexually exploited employer's underage son

SINGAPORE - A maid committed obscene and indecent acts with her employer's underage son and told the child that she had recorded a video of them engaging in sexual activities.

The woman, an Indian national, would threaten to show the clip to the minor's parents to silence him whenever they argued, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling told the court.

At the time of the offences, the boy was only between 11 and 12 years old. Court documents did not state if the maid had actually recorded a video.

Following a five-day trial, District Judge Ng Peng Hong found the 33-year-old woman guilty of four counts of sexual exploitation and one count of causing alarm to the boy.

She was sentenced to one year and six months' jail on Nov 22. One of her defence lawyers, Mr Jonathan Cho from Covenant Chambers, told The Straits Times on Wednesday (Nov 28) that she will be appealing against her conviction and sentence.

The maid, who worked for the family between January 2015 and July 2016, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the boy's identity.

During the trial, the boy testified that she had sexually exploited him on numerous occasions whenever he was alone at home with her and the offences started in January 2016.

According to court documents, the maid started priming the boy for sexual activities by first making an obscene gesture suggesting sexual intercourse before walking away.

The boy testified that a few days later, she called him to the kitchen and asked him to kiss her lips. The court heard that he then complied out of curiosity.

DPP Chee said: "These inappropriate kisses by the accused occurred about once a week and the duration and intensity of these kisses started to increase."

The DPP added that these kisses progressed to more intense sexual activities.

The boy told the court that, meanwhile, the maid would even refuse to bring him water when he asked for it and they had several arguments.

DPP Chee told Judge Ng: "Then one day, the accused suddenly told the victim that she has recorded a video of them engaging in sexual activities and she would show this video clip to her brother and the victim's parents. This alarmed and scared the victim, and whenever disputes arose between the accused and the victim, she would remind the victim that she has this video clip to silence him."

Matters came to a head on July 11, 2016, when the boy called his father and said the maid was about to hit him.

The man came home but the maid tried to convince him that nothing had happened. She then told the man: "Do you know what your son is doing?"

The agitated boy immediately fell silent and his father, sensing something was wrong, took him to a bedroom for a talk.

The child was in tears when he told his father about his encounters with the maid and the police were alerted five days later.

Mr Cho and two other lawyers from his firm, Mr Ronald JJ Wong and Mr Tedrick Chai, represented the woman pro bono. She did not have a lawyer to represent her through the trial and they came in only during the closing submissions.

Urging the court to acquit the woman, the lawyers said in their submissions that according to the client, it was the boy who had behaved inappropriately towards their client by performing indecent acts.

The defence lawyers also stated that their client's case was that the boy cooked up the story against her as he feared his own acts would be uncovered.

The woman is now out on bail. For each count of sexual exploitation, she could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined up to $20,000.

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