Man gets reformative training for sexually abusing 12-year-old boy at children's home

SINGAPORE - A 20-year-old man was sentenced to reformative training on Wednesday for sexually abusing a 12-year-old boy at a children's home.

The accused, who cannot be named due to a gag order, pleaded guilty last month to having oral sex with the victim outside a toilet cubicle at the children's home in June last year. Both were then staying at the home.

A district court heard that the victim was about to take off his clothes and put them in the laundry basket outside a toilet cubicle when the accused entered the toilet.

The accused asked the victim if he was all right and the boy replied in the affirmative. The accused came nearer to the victim and asked him to perform oral sex on him.

After the act, the victim quickly went into a cubicle to shower. The accused also entered a cubicle. The victim did not see the accused when he emerged from the shower and quickly left the toilet.

The superintendent of the home made a police report on July 19 last year after the victim complained.

A second similar charge was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adrianni Marhain had argued that although the acts were consensual, the accused had taken advantage of a boy who was seven years younger. The victim, she said, was clearly not mature enough to have engaged in sexual activities. An Institute of Mental Health report said the boy felt guilty and embarrassed as a result of the incidents.

She said further aggravating factors were that the offences occurred in a children's home, where the young victim was entitled to feel a sense of security.

Reformative training is between 18 and 36 months.

The accused could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined for having sex with a person under 16 years of age.

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