Man befriended, preyed on young girls on social media

SINGAPORE (THE NEW PAPER) - A former full-time national serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Police Force pleaded guilty on Wednesday (July 31) to sexual offences against young girls.

A R Arun Prashanth, now 25, had also taken more than 700 upskirt photos of unknown women, mostly using the "burst" function on his phone.

On Wednesday, he pleaded guilty to seven charges, including sexual penetration of a minor and committing obscene act with a young person, with 21 other charges taken into consideration.

Arun preyed on young girls between 12 and 15 on social media.

Around February 2016, the 22-year-old NSF befriended one of his victims, then 12, through Instagram.

They exchanged numbers in April and he sent her lewd messages several times commenting on her body, saying she had "voluptuous curves".

He also pestered her for naked pictures or videos of herself showering and pressed her to meet him at his house or hotels for "cuddles" or sex.

He repeatedly reminded her not to reveal their chat records to anyone and also told her that he was a policeman.

In May 2016, the girl finally relented and sent a photo of herself in her brassiere, but he was not satisfied and asked her to remove it.

After the incident, the victim said she was depressed and regretted giving in to his request.

WHATSAPP

Just a few months later, he befriended another victim, then 14, through a WhatsApp group chat.

He told her he was from the "Home Team" and asked her for her age.

He pestered her to meet up, but she rejected all of his requests, and she eventually blocked him as she found his messages annoying.

But he continued to send her messages on Instagram.

In February 2017, the victim said she would be playing truant and skipping her co-curricular activities. He asked her to meet up at his house and she agreed.

When she reached his house, he hugged her, and they went to the bedroom and lay on the bed.

He kissed her lips, cheeks, and neck. He then sexually assaulted her. The victim tried to move away from him, but he pulled her closer, and when he left the room, she sent text messages to her friend to call the police.

She then made up an excuse to go home. The driver of the private-hire car she was in noticed that she was trembling and took her to make a police report when she told him what had happened.

In 2017, when Arun was arrested for his offences against his 14-year-old victim, the police found 720 upskirt photos in his phone.

He will be sentenced on Aug 13.