Jail, caning for man who molested boy after promising to 'guide and advise' him

SINGAPORE - A man befriended a 13-year-old boy who had disciplinary issues and promised the latter's father that he would "guide and advise" the teenager.

Instead, the 25-year-old man molested the boy on two occasions in March this year.

The Singaporean offender was sentenced on Wednesday (Oct 28) to two years' jail with five strokes of the cane and a fine of $2,500.

He pleaded guilty to one count of molestation and an unrelated charge of criminal breach of trust.

He is not named owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

The man got to know the victim in early March through a mutual friend. He later asked the boy to join him on an overnight fishing trip.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kenneth Kee said: "The victim was not ordinarily allowed by his parents to stay out overnight, so the accused spoke to the victim's father.

"During this conversation, the victim's father informed the accused about his concern that the victim had been having disciplinary issues."

The man then assured the father that he could "guide and advise" the teenager "appropriately".

The two went on a fishing trip on March 16 and continued to spend time together thereafter.

On March 19, the man invited the boy to stay overnight at his Choa Chu Kang flat and they shared a bed.

DPP Kee said that the man molested the boy in the wee hours of March 20.

"The victim, who did not consent to the act, was shocked, scared, and uncertain as to how he should have reacted at the time. Nonetheless, the victim kept silent and pretended to stay asleep on the bed," he added.

After they got up, the boy joined the man in setting up some decorations for a wedding.

Later that day, the man sent the boy's mother a text message, asking if she would allow her son to stay over for one more night. The woman agreed, as she thought that the man was a good role model for her son.

The boy agreed to return to the man's flat as he had left his belongings there. They were resting on the bed in the wee hours of March 21 when the man molested the boy again.

The court heard that the teenager pretended to be asleep, as he was afraid. He later went to a bathroom to clean himself.

After leaving the flat, he decided to confront the man that evening and arranged to meet him at a coffee shop. Accompanied by two friends, the boy scolded the man, who apologised.

The boy later told his parents about his ordeal. He lodged a police report on March 22, the court heard.

Separately, the man was working as a deliveryman from Feb 24 to March 6 when he was tasked to deliver some items to a warehouse.

But he made off with items including four pairs of shoes and three jackets worth $1,360 in all. He was caught and has since made full restitution.

The man's bail was set at $10,000 on Wednesday and he will surrender himself at the State Courts on Dec 7 to begin serving his sentence.

For molesting a minor below 14 years old, an offender can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned.

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