SINGAPORE - A construction worker from India had sex three times with a 13-year-old girl who became pregnant as a result and underwent an abortion.
Vellakkanu Raja, 24, was sentenced to two years' jail on Thursday (Aug 4) after admitting to three counts of sexual penetration in February, August and October last year.
Three other charges of digital penetration were taken into consideration in sentencing.
A district court heard that the Secondary 1 student was with her friend at Changi Beach while Raja was drinking beer with his friends there sometime around November or December 2014.
After their respective friends had left, she approached Raja and gave him her mobile number. He called her later that evening and they began talking.
After that, they talked regularly over the phone and met on a few occasions.
After several weeks, in January last year, she began to consider herself in a boyfriend-girlfriend relationship with Raja.
Sometime around February last year, they met at Changi Village. She asked him to buy beer which they consumed at a deserted area of the beach. He had unprotected sex with her.
The following month, her 24-year-old male cousin found out about the two of them and told her mother, who confiscated the girl's phone and told her not to see Raja.
On May 28 last year, the girl ran away from home. Her mother lodged a police report the next day. She also called Raja and told him to contact her if the victim met or approached him.
Later that day, Raja met the victim in Yishun and managed to contact her cousin who came and took her home. The cousin told Raja that she was "very young'' and had a nine-year age difference with him.
The girl's mother also told Raja to stop seeing her daughter, who was still schooling. But they continued to meet.
Investigations further revealed that sometime around August and October, the two met at Punggol Waterway Park, consumed beer and had sex at a grass patch at the park.
The girl told her mother in January this year that she might be pregnant. A polyclinic confirmed that she was. She was taken to KK Women's and Children's Hospital, which referred the case to the police.
A few days later, she informed Raja that the case had been referred to the police. Raja was arrested at Changi Airport on Jan 23 for trying to leave the country. The girl underwent an abortion when she was 23 weeks pregnant.
Defence counsel Shaneet Rai said it was the victim who sought out his client by giving him a missed call on his mobile phone, and initiated contact with him by calling him to meet up. He said they were in a "genuine and loving relationship''.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana said the accused continued to seek out the victim despite her mother and cousin reaching out to him. She said it was utterly incredible for the defence to characterise the relationship as a case where the accused merely succumbed to the victim's advances.
Raja could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined for each charge of sexual penetration of a minor.