Man who raped son's ex-girlfriend 'had troubled past'

A High Court judge yesterday accepted a defence psychiatrist's views that a company director convicted of raping his son's underage ex-girlfriend was driven to extramarital affairs as a way to cope with his troubled mind.

Justice Lee Seiu Kin noted that the 47-year-old, who had affairs with adult women before meeting the girl, had a "troubled upbringing" and an "early and unusual sexual experience".

The court earlier heard that the man had his first sexual relationship at the age of 13 with the family's maid and that his father had affairs with women that he brought home. The judge noted that the accused displayed "a potpourri of symptoms", including two previous suicide attempts and eating disorders. But he stopped short of concluding that the accused was suffering from a major depressive disorder, as defence psychiatrist Tommy Tan had said. He said Dr Tan and Dr Bharat Saluja, who testified for the prosecution, "seem to have different definitions" of what constituted a major depressive disorder, and did not think it was relevant to establish whether the man was suffering from depression.

The case has been adjourned for the prosecution and defence to file written submissions on sentencing.

The man cannot be named on account of a gag order to protect the girl's identity. He sexually abused the girl from December 2012 to May 2014 when she was between 11 and 13 years old. He had found nude pictures of her which she had sent to his son on Facebook, and contacted her on the pretext of talking to her about his son. He took the then Primary 5 pupil to Copthorne King's Hotel and raped her. The girl developed a liking for him and continued to meet him for consensual sex acts.

In February 2014, she wanted to end the affair but he refused. Using prepaid SIM cards, he posed as mysterious men and messaged her, threatening to post her naked pictures online. He also contacted her friends and used her naked image as the profile picture of a WhatsApp account.

The abuse came to light in July 2014 after a parent saw the profile picture in a chat window on his daughter's phone and recognised the victim.

In March, the accused pleaded guilty to two charges of statutory rape and one charge of sexual penetration of a minor. A further hearing was held to determine if he was suffering from depression. The defence said he had depression, but the prosecution disputed this.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 05, 2018, with the headline 'Man who raped son's ex-girlfriend 'had troubled past''. Print Edition | Subscribe