SINGAPORE - A teen lured young girls he met in school or on social media to his flat in Bukit Batok before sexually assaulting them. He was only 14 years old when he first started committing the offences.
Between July 2017 and February 2020, the teen committed 33 sexual offences against 10 minors.
Now 18, he cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victims' identities.
On Thursday (Feb 24), he was convicted of four counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16.
Another 29 counts of a similar nature will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that the accused met one of his victims in 2017 on Instagram. She was just 12 at the time.
Some time in 2018, she developed romantic feelings towards the accused and accepted his invitation to go to the flat where he lived.
He took her to the staircase of his block and requested to have sex with her.
Thinking this meant that he would recognise her as his girlfriend, the girl, who was a virgin, agreed to it.
Thereafter, they had sex at the behest of the accused at least once every month from June 2018 to January 2019.
In the case of another victim, he invited her to his flat to study after they got acquainted on Instagram in August 2019.
Said Deputy Public Prosecutor Ong Xin Jie: "The accused informed her that his grandmother was home, but she did not notice anyone else present within the flat."
The accused hugged her and began to undress her, which caused the victim to feel uncomfortable.
After telling her not to worry, the accused had unprotected sex with her.
A medical report of the victim stated that she had felt sad, irritable and fearful since the incident.
"She avoided visiting the Bukit Batok area, had difficulty trusting others and felt ashamed of her body," said DPP Ong.
The law caught up with him in June 2020 after one of the victims posted a photo of the accused on Twitter with the caption: "A rapist requested to follow me on Instagram should I expose what he did to me?"
As a result, many other female victims reached out to her privately and shared their accounts of being sexually assaulted by the accused.
With their consent, their stories were shared on Twitter and gained traction. Several police reports were lodged by victims between June and October 2020.
DPP Jane Lim told the court that the accused not only exposed his victims to pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, they had suffered psychological harm as a result of his actions.
"His offences are serious and would have attracted mandatory imprisonment if the accused was an adult," she said.
The accused's lawyer Hashim Siraj, from Abdul Rahman Law Corporation, said his client understands the consequences of his actions after spending a lengthy period in remand - nearly one year and eight months.
District Judge Kessler Soh postponed sentencing pending a reformative training report on March 17.
Reformative training is a rehabilitative sentencing option for young offenders aged under 21 who are found to be unsuitable for probation.
A stint at the Reformative Training Centre lasts between six and 54 months.