CEO gets jail, caning for sex assault on son's friend

Man who assaulted nine-year-old boy during sleepover gets 14 years in jail and 24 strokes

A 48-year-old chief executive who was found guilty of sexually assaulting his son's nine-year-old classmate during a sleepover in 2015 was sentenced to 14 years in jail and given 24 strokes of the cane yesterday.

The foreign national, who has three sons, was convicted of committing two counts of sexual assault by penetration of a minor and one count of aggravated molestation.

He cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the boy, who is now 12.

He also faces charges of sexually abusing an eight-year-old boy in 2011.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan said that the man's acts have left psychological scars on the victim.

On Oct 31, 2015, the man and his wife threw a Halloween party at his house. The victim, a friend of the youngest son, slept over at the house after the party.

On Oct 31, 2015, the man and his wife threw a Halloween party at his house. The victim, a friend of the youngest son, had a sleepover after the party. The boy was sexually assaulted while he was on the upper deck of a bunk bed, with the man's son sleeping on the lower deck.

The boy was sexually assaulted while he was on the upper deck of a bunk bed, with the man's son sleeping on the lower deck.

A police report was made the next day.

During the trial, the victim's mother testified that her son was afraid the man would take revenge on the family.

She said the boy had asked repeatedly: "Why did God choose me to go through that? You know, it is really unfair."

Every 31st day of the month also became a "sensitive date" for the boy, she said.

A year after the offences, she thought things were fine when her son invited three friends over for a Halloween party. However, the boy broke down and cried for three hours, the mother said.

The CEO, who has been remanded in prison since Aug 6 after his bail was revoked, appeared in court wearing a neck brace.

His lawyer, Mr Selva K. Naidu, sought bail after the sentence was passed, saying that his client intended to appeal.

Justice See Kee Oon denied the request for bail.

In sentencing the man, the judge said he was unable to discern any relevant mitigating factors. He was not persuaded by defence arguments for concurrent sentences as the offences were part of a single transaction.

In seeking bail, Mr Naidu said that his client fell off an elephant in 2011 and suffered from a spinal condition.

Mr Naidu said that on the day the man was taken into custody, he was unable to climb up the prison van and was lifted onto the van, which caused a strain on his back.

In prison, the man was handcuffed to his bed to prevent him from falling off, but the cuffs were later removed as they exacerbated his condition.

On Aug 10, the day he was originally due to be sentenced, his blood pressure went up and he was taken to Changi General Hospital on a stretcher, the lawyer said.

Mr Naidu added that his client was prepared to rent a room at a hotel near the Police Cantonment Complex so that he could report to the police daily.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on September 01, 2018, with the headline 'CEO gets jail, caning for sex assault on son's friend'. Print Edition | Subscribe