Youth gets 10 years' jail, 12 strokes of the cane for rape and sexually violating teenage girls

SINGAPORE - An 18-year-old secondary school dropout, who sexually violated four teenage girls, was sentenced to 10 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Monday (March 12).

Anthony Lim Yao Ming was between 14 and 17 when he committed the offences, which included rape.

He pleaded guilty to two charges involving two girls - a 13-year-old and a 14-year-old - whom he had befriended on Facebook. Both victims had below average intelligence.

Lim's modus operandi involved exploiting the gullibility and loneliness of adolescent girls and convincing them that they shared a genuine romantic relationship, only to use them for his own sexual gratification at the very first meeting, Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy told the High Court.

In December 2015, Lim, who was then 16, sent a friend request on Facebook to the first victim, whose intelligence was assessed to be in the "very low" range.

On Jan 10, 2016, six days after she accepted his request, Lim, who claimed that he was a polytechnic student, asked her to be his girlfriend and she agreed.

Four days later, he took the 13-year-old to his flat and they had consensual sex.

Three days after they had sex, Lim told her he wanted to break up with her. But he soon changed his mind and asked her to get back together with him.

On Jan 25, 2016, he asked her to meet him at his flat.

She agreed to have sex with him on the condition that this would be the last time, as she wanted a loving relationship and not one in which she felt being used by him.

The next day, the girl's mother was doing the laundry when she found bloodstains on her underwear and questioned her about it. The girl eventually admitted that she had sex with Lim. Her parents took her to make a police report.

Meanwhile, Lim was chatting with the second victim over Facebook.

He had asked the 14-year-old to be his girlfriend in mid 2015. He stopped messaging her in October 2015 but asked her to be his girlfriend again on May 30, 2016.

On June 22, 2016, posing as his mother, Lim sent her a barrage of text messages over a two-hour period. The messages asked the girl why she had yet to meet up with Lim, despite them being a couple.

Falling for the ruse, the girl felt guilty and agreed to meet up with him .

On June 29, 2016, they met outside her school and got into a taxi. Despite having some reservations, she agreed to follow him to his flat.

When they reached his flat, he took her straight to his bedroom and closed the door. She sat on the floor but he carried her to his bed and started kissing and hugging her.

The girl pushed him away and pleaded with him to stop when he started taking her clothes off, but Lim threatened to punch and slap her if she did not comply.

He raped her as she cried and tried to push him away.

After the rape, Lim booked a taxi for her but borrowed $5 from her.

In the taxi, she phoned a teacher and tearfully recounted her ordeal. The teacher then called the girl's mother. That night, the girl's mother took her to the police and reported the rape.

Tests later showed that girl's IQ was 70, which was at the borderline level.

On Monday, Lim pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual penetration of a minor relating in connection with the first victim and a charge of aggravated rape for the other girl. Eight other charges, for sexual penetration of a minor, were taken into consideration.

In sentencing, Justice Kannan Ramesh noted that Lim's offences were "laced with premeditation" and that he had used deception to lure the second girl to his flat.

The judge noted that even though Lim was questioned by the Serious Sexual Crimes Branch on Feb 10, 2016, for the first offence, he was undeterred. Lim was only interested in securing sexual gratification; there was no real relationship.

"It was all about exploitation," said the judge.