SINGAPORE - A 60-year-old man befriended his grandson's friend, 14, by meeting him almost daily to give him life advice.
The boy's father even told the man to keep advising his son and the man responded that he thought of the boy as his own grandchild.
But the man performed a sexual act on the boy at a staircase landing in January last year.
On Tuesday (June 22), the man was sentenced to 20 months' jail on one charge of penetration of a child under the age of 16 while they were in an exploitative relationship. One other similar charge was taken into consideration for his sentencing.
The man cannot be named to protect the boy's identity.
The man was represented by lawyer Ng Pei Qi, who told the court that her client had "misjudged the relationship and thought it was a friendship where they (could) give each other sexual (favours)".
The court heard that the man met the boy in November or December 2019 when the man was picking his grandson up from school.
He offered the boy a cigarette and the pair started talking and the man asked for the boy's phone number.
They met six times a week for about three hours each time, during which the victim would occasionally ask the man to buy him cigarettes.
"The victim trusted and respected the accused, as the accused would frequently give him 'good advice' — such as not to skip school, or not to be rude to his parents," Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Teh told the court.
The victim's father met the man sometime in January last year and asked the man to advise the victim and his younger brother.
The man agreed to do so and told the victim's father that he treated the boys "as his own grandchildren", the court heard.
On Jan 19 that year, the man met the victim at a void deck to talk and smoke.
He then took the boy to a staircase landing where he asked if he could perform a sexual act on the boy.
The boy refused but the man persisted and removed the victim's pants and performed a sexual act on him for about 30 seconds.
The victim kept silent and did not react as he did not know what to do.
On Feb 29 last year, the victim was giving his statement at a police station for a separate incident and told the officers that he had been sexually assaulted by the man.
DPP Teh urged the court to sentence the man to 20 to 24 months in jail, citing the exploitative relationship and the large age gap between the man and the boy.