Man admits preying on 31 victims in one of the worst cases of sex crimes against boys

SINGAPORE - In one of the worst cases of sex crimes against young boys here, a 31-year-old quality assurance engineer on Friday admitted preying on 31 victims aged between 11 and 15 over a period of three years.

Yap Weng Wah, a Malaysian, befriended the boys on Facebook using different personas, chatted with them on the social networking site and later persuaded them to meet him.

Between November 2009 and June 2012, he cajoled 30 of the boys into consenting to engaging in sexual acts with him at places such as his rental flat, toilet cubicles in shopping centres and swimming complexes, hotel rooms and a public park.

Yap also recorded the acts on his mobile phone. He stored the footage in his laptop, meticulously catalogued in folders indicating each boy's name, age and year they met.

After their first sexual encounter with Yap, some of the victims continued to meet him and engage in sexual acts with him, either because they enjoyed his company as a friend, were worried he may spread the footage or were themselves sexually curious.

As for the remaining victim, Yap had told the 12-year-old to send him a video of the boy performing a lewd act.

Police officers who raided his home, after one of the victims made a report, found more than 2,000 video clips on his laptop.

On Friday, Yap pleaded guilty to 12 charges of sexual penetration of a minor.

Another 64 charges - 63 for sexual penetration of a minor and one for procuring a child to commit an indecent act - will be taken into consideration during sentencing.

The case was adjourned for further arguments on the appropriate sentence to be imposed. Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo sought at least 30 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

Yap came to Singapore to work in 2009. His two younger siblings and mother live in Ipoh, Malaysia while his father moved to New Zealand when he was eight years old.

His lawyer Daniel Koh said in his plea for leniency that when Yap was 12 years old, he had a nine-month sexual relationship with a male teacher. Due to a lack of a father figure, Yap thought these were acts of intimacy and love, he said.

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