Storekeeper admits to paying 3 boys for sexual favours

A 54-year-old storekeeper yesterday admitted in court that he had enticed three boys - aged 10, 13 and 14 - with money to allow him to perform sexual acts on them.

Husain Ibrahim gave the boys, who hang out together in the neighbourhood, sums ranging from $5 to $50, the High Court heard.

The offences took place in June and July 2015, shortly after his release from prison for drug offences.

Husain first befriended the boys outside a convenience store at Commonwealth MRT station and gave them money for contraband cigarettes.

He introduced himself as Abang Choh (Brother Choh) and took photos of them with his mobile phone. He gave them his number and told them to call if they needed help.

The next day, the oldest boy suggested calling Husain. They met at The Star Vista mall, where he treated them to food and drinks.

Later that night, the 13-year-old asked to borrow $50 for a date with his girlfriend. Husain did not immediately agree. He invited the group to his flat and, in his bedroom, confessed to the two older boys that he was gay. He told the 13-year-old he would give him $50 if the boy let him perform oral sex on him.

Enticed by the money, both boys agreed but covered their faces with pillows out of embarrassment.

He gave $50 to the 13-year-old and $20 to the older boy, and told them not to tell anyone about it.

The following month, Husain paid the oldest and youngest boys in exchange for sex acts. On July 25, 2015, Husain propositioned the 10-year-old, who did not want to go home, and the 14-year-old.

The two boys stayed at his flat but left on the morning of July 27. The 10-year-old's mother, who had made a missing persons report, spotted them at a mosque.

The two boys later disclosed what Husain had done to them. He was arrested a day later.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual assault by penetration and was remanded for further psychiatric evaluation. He faces up to 20 years' jail but cannot be caned as he is over the age of 50.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on April 20, 2017, with the headline 'Storekeeper admits to paying 3 boys for sexual favours'. Print Edition | Subscribe