SINGAPORE - A married freelance tour guide who had sex with a girl 20 years his junior was jailed for 10 months on Tuesday (March 22).
Grayson Cheng Tze Loong, 35, admitted to two counts of underage sex with the girl at his flat in Bukit Batok East Avenue 3 in January 2014 and January 2015.
Investigations showed that they first got acquainted through a social networking application called Skout in 2013.
Using "Stevie'' as his name, he chatted with her over Skout for a few months. They did not exchange phone numbers and their interactions were limited to messaging. He knew that she was 13 years old then.
Sometime in January 2014, he drove to her school to pick her up in his vehicle. They went to his home where he had consensual sex with her.
During this occasion, she came to know his real name after coming across a book which had his full name in it. She remembered his name as "Gary''.
They then lost contact with each other as she had forgotten her password to Skout.
It was only sometime in January 2015 that they met again in a chat application called Telegram. This time, Cheng used the name "Garyson''.
They decided to meet up again. One afternoon, he picked her up at a void deck and drove her to his home. He had sex with her in his parents' bedroom.
Cheng's lawyer Lee Teck Leng said his client was suffering from depression at the time. He said Cheng was seeking treatment and on the verge of recovery.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sean Lee said that Cheng should have exercised control nonetheless.
Agreeing, District Judge Crystal Ong said Cheng, who is 20 years older than the girl, should have known better. He knew she was underage and still went ahead, she said.
She noted from his psychiatric report that he had had sex with other women on the Internet. She also said Cheng's lawyer himself had rightfully conceded that the protection of young girls is the foremost consideration.
Cheng could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined on each charge of having sex with a person below 16 years old.