Company director who raped son's ex-girlfriend 'was driven to affairs by mental troubles'

SINGAPORE - A High Court judge on Friday (May 4) accepted the views of a defence psychiatrist that a company director, who has been convicted of raping his son's underage former girlfriend, was driven to having extramarital affairs as a way to cope with his troubled mind.

Justice Lee Seiu Kin noted that the 47-year-old man, who had affairs with adult women before meeting the girl, had a "troubled upbringing" and an "early and unusual sexual experience".

The court earlier heard that the man had his first sexual relationship at the age of 13 with the family's maid and that his father had affairs with women who he would take home.

The judge also noted that the accused displayed "a potpourri of symptoms", including two previous suicide attempts and eating disorders.

However, Justice Lee stopped short of concluding that the accused was suffering from a major depressive disorder, as defence psychiatrist Tommy Tan had claimed.

The judge said Dr Tan and Dr Bharat Saluja, who testified for the prosecution, "seem to have different definitions" of what constituted a major depressive disorder. "I'm in no position to determine which definition is correct," he said.

In any case, the judge said he did not think it was relevant to establish whether the man was suffering from depression.

The case has been adjourned for the prosecution and defence to file written submissions on sentencing.

The man cannot be named on account of a gag order to protect the identity of the girl.

The accused sexually abused the girl from December 2012 to May 2014, when she was between 11 and 13 years old.

He had found nude pictures of her which she had sent to his son on Facebook. He then contacted her on the pretext of talking to her about her break-up with his son.

But he drove the then Primary 5 pupil to Copthorne King's Hotel and raped her in a room that he had booked.

The girl developed a liking for him and continued to meet him to take part in consensual sex acts in carparks, hotels and on the rooftop of her condominium.

In February 2014, she wanted to end the affair after getting into a relationship with a teenage boy, but the man refused to break up with her.

Using prepaid SIM cards, he posed as mysterious men and sent her messages threatening to post her naked pictures online.

He also contacted her friends and chose a naked image of the girl as the profile picture on a WhatsApp phone messaging account he had set up.

The abuse came to light in July 2014 after a parent in the same social circle saw the profile picture in a chat window on his daughter's phone and recognised the victim.

In March, the accused pleaded guilty to two charges of statutory rape and one charge of sexual penetration of a minor. However, a further hearing was held to determine whether he was suffering from depression

The defence, which wanted to rely on Dr Tan's report in mitigation, said he had depression, but the prosecution disputed this.

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