Man gets more than 10 years' jail and six strokes of the cane for raping 12-year-old girl

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old man was sentenced in the High Court on Tuesday (Aug 11) to 10 years and 10 weeks jail as well as six strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to statutory rape.

The court heard that the man met a 12-year-old girl on an online chat app called BeeTalk in September 2017 and subsequently had sex with her twice within the week.

He also admitted to posting nude photographs of two former girlfriends, aged 23 and 25, on social network site Tumblr between 2015 and 2017.

He pleaded guilty to one charge of statutory rape and two charges of transmitting obscene material. Two other charges - for statutory rape and sexual exploitation of a child - were taken into consideration.

The man cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victims' identities.

Prosecutors said the accused displayed predatory conduct by befriending the 12-year-old victim on BeeTalk and immediately sexually grooming her by sending her lewd messages and encouraging her to have sex with him.

The court was told that the man, among other things, asked the victim on the day they became acquainted if she "played games".

The victim thought he meant mobile phone games, but the accused quickly disabused her of this notion and initiated highly sexually charged messages which court documents said were wholly inappropriate for a child at 12 years of age.

Their first meet-up occurred within a day of meeting on the app on Sept 14, 2017, when the man chose a secluded spot to have sex with the girl on the third floor stairwell at Leng Kee Community Club in Redhill.

He had sex with her again on the morning of Sept 18, 2017, at her home when she skipped school and nobody was home.

That evening, the victim's mother confiscated her mobile phone and found sexually explicit messages from the accused asking for nude photographs.

The next day, the victim's mother and her aunt informed the girl's school before a police report was made.

During police investigations, the man admitted that he was aware that having sex with a person under the age of 14 is an offence.

The court heard that the 23-year-old victim was in a relationship with the man in 2010 but they broke up shortly thereafter. The man admitted to uploading two nude pictures of her after one of them was found on his phone during police investigations.

The third victim, 25, was still in a relationship with the man when he uploaded eight nude photographs of her between February and March 2017.

The prosecution told the court the man caused untold distress and humiliation to the victims when they discovered the posts.

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