SINGAPORE - A 45-year-old man, who faces multiple charges of sexually abusing a girl when she was between 11 and 13 years old, allegedly tried to take his own life, the High Court heard on Monday (March 14).
The case was scheduled to be heard on Monday morning but the man, who was out on bail of $70,0000, did not turn up.
In the afternoon, his wife told the court that he had tried to commit suicide by locking himself in a room at home and burning charcoal.
She told the court that he was taken to the Institute of Mental Health but was advised to seek medical treatment at the nearest hospital for inhalation of fumes.
"He is still in the emergency ward for testing and scanning," she said.
The case was adjourned to a later date to be fixed.
The man, a managing director, cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, who is now 14. It is understood that she is his son's former girlfriend.
The man faces a total of 17 charges - five for statutory rape, three for sexual penetration of a minor, seven for oral sex with a minor, one for sexual exploitation of a child and one for criminal intimidation.
The man allegedly engaged in various sexual acts with the girl between December 2012 and June 2014, including consensual sex at Copthorne King's Hotel, Village Hotel Changi, and the rooftop of a condominium.
Under the law, sex with a girl under 14 - with or without her consent - is considered rape.
On five occasions between March 2013 and November 2013, the man also allegedly engaged in sex acts with the girl in his car at Pasir Ris Park.
In December 2013, he allegedly asked the girl to take naked photos of herself in various poses and send the pictures to him.
In mid-2014, the man allegedly threatened to post her nude photos online.
On each charge of rape and sexual assault, the man faces up to 20 years' jail as well as caning or a fine.
The punishment for sexual exploitation is a fine of up to $10,000 or jail of up to five years or both. Criminal intimidation carries up to two years' jail or a fine.