CEO who sexually assaulted son's classmate gets 14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane

SINGAPORE - A 48-year-old chief executive found guilty of sexually assaulting his son's nine-year-old classmate during a sleepover in 2015 was sentenced to 14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Friday (Aug 31).

The foreign national, who has been remanded in prison since Aug 6 after his bail was revoked, came to court in a neck brace.

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

He detailed how his client had faced considerable physical hardship in prison because of his existing spinal condition. The accused had fallen off an elephant in 2011.

Mr Naidu said that on the day the man was taken into custody, he was unable to climb up the prison van and had to be 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 it exacerbated his condition.

On Aug 10, the day he was originally due to be sentenced, his blood pressure went up and he had to be 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 can report to the police daily.

However, Justice See Kee Oon denied the request for bail.

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

The man, 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.

On Oct 31, 2015, the man and his wife threw a Halloween party at his house.

The male victim, a friend of the youngest son, had a sleepover after the party.

The boy slept on the upper deck of a bunk bed while the son slept on the lower deck.

The victim testified that he pretended to be asleep when the accused entered the room at night, stepped on the lower bunk and touched his genitals.

After the man left and re-entered the room, performing oral sex on him twice, the boy decided to pack his belongings and ask to leave.

When his father came to pick him up, the boy told him what the accused had done to him. A police report was made the next day.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Raja Mohan said the accused's acts had left psychological scars on the victim.

During the trial, the boy's mother testified that all the doors in their home would be closed as her son was afraid that the man would take revenge on them.

She said he repeatedly asked: "Why did God choose me to go through that? You know, it's really unfair."

The 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, she said.

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