Man gets 13 years' jail and 12 strokes for raping 12-year-old girl he met online

SINGAPORE - A man befriended a 12-year-old girl online, had sex with her the first time they met and passed her a sexually transmitted disease.

Eugene Teng Jia Ren, 21, also repeatedly asked her to send him her nude photos.

Teng was sentenced to 13 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Monday (April 23) after pleading guilty to three sexual offences.

Eight other similar offences were considered during sentencing.

The case began in July 2015 when Teng, who was undergoing his national service at the time, met the victim on a mobile application, said Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew.

They then befriended each other on Facebook, exchanged numbers and began chatting over online messaging service WhatsApp.

Early on in the conversation, the girl told the accused how old she was and that she was taking her PSLE that year.

On Oct 30, after the victim had completed her PSLE examinations, she admitted to Teng over WhatsApp that she liked him.

Over the next few weeks, the pair chatted extensively over WhatsApp. Teng asked her to send him naked photos of herself several times and would frequently steer the conversation to sexually related topics, said DPP Chew.

He also suggested spending a night at a hotel together but the victim said her parents would not allow her to do so. He then invited her to his home on Nov 27 to "cuddle", and told her they would go out on a date after that.

Teng told the girl to send him photographs of her clothes, including her undergarments, so that he could choose what she wore when she went to his home.

He also told her to keep their relationship a secret and to delete their conversations from her phone regularly.

On Nov 27, Teng met the victim for the first time at his home and took her into his room, where he sexually violated her and made her perform oral sex on him. He also had sex with her. 

This was the first time the victim had been involved in any sexual acts, said  DPP Chew.  She was initially unwilling to have sex with Teng, but later agreed as he had assured her that he loved her and she was afraid of losing him, the court heard.

Three weeks later on Dec 16, Teng made a video call to the victim over communication application FaceTime, where he instructed her to show him her private parts. She complied.

The next day, Teng met the victim at his home again, where he made her perform oral sex on him and had unprotected sex with her.

The offences came to light when the victim's mother became suspicious and questioned her about where she had been.

The girl eventually passed Teng's contact to her mother, who demanded to meet Teng and asked him what he had done to her daughter. Teng told the girl's mother that he had only held her hand and kissed her.

The girl's mother then took her to see a gynaecologist for a medical examination. It was only after this that the girl admitted she had sex with Teng.

Her mother took her to lodge a police report on Dec 20 and Teng was arrested the next day.

The girl tested positive for a sexually transmitted disease, which Teng was also found to have had during his medical examination.

A report by the Institute of Mental Health also showed that the victim suffered from depression and suicidal thoughts following the offences.

On Monday, Teng pleaded guilty to committing an obscene act with a child, sexually penetrating a minor under 16 and statutory rape.

DPP Chew said Teng had shamelessly exploited the victim to the fullest and urged the court to sentence him to 12 years' jail and 14 strokes of the cane.

He added that a message needed to be sent "loud and clear" that such contact with children would not be tolerated.

In his sentencing, Justice Chua Lee Ming said Teng had groomed the victim to be "a sexual plaything'' to satisfy his lust, and agreed with the prosecution that there was "a clear need to protect our young".

For committing statutory rape, Teng could have been jailed for 20 years, fined and caned.