Married man accused of raping minor 'attempted suicide'

A 45-year-old man, who faces multiple charges of sexually abusing a girl when she was between 11 and 13 years old, supposedly tried to take his own life, the High Court heard yesterday.

The case was scheduled to be heard yesterday morning but the man, who was out on bail of $70,000, did not turn up.

In the afternoon, his wife told the court that he had tried to commit suicide by locking himself in a room at home, burning charcoal and inhaling the fumes.

She told the court that when she found out what he had tried to do, she took him to the Institute of Mental Health but was advised to seek medical treatment at the nearest hospital for inhalation of fumes. "He is still in the emergency ward for testing and scanning," she said.

The case was adjourned to a date to be fixed.

The man, a managing director, cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl, who is now 14 years old. It is understood that she is his son's former girlfriend.

He faces a total of 17 charges - five for statutory rape, 10 for sexual penetration of a minor, one for sexual exploitation of a child and one for criminal intimidation.

The man allegedly engaged in various sex acts with the girl between December 2012 and June 2014, including consensual sex at Copthorne King's Hotel, Village Hotel Changi, and on the rooftop of a condominium.

Under the law, sex with a girl under 14 - with or without her consent - is considered rape.

On five occasions between March 2013 and November 2013, the man also allegedly engaged in sex acts with the girl in his car at Pasir Ris Park.

In December 2013, he allegedly asked the girl, who was then 12, to take photos of herself naked and in various poses and to send the pictures to him.

In mid-2014, the man allegedly threatened to post her photos online.

On each charge of rape and sexual penetration, the man faces up to 20 years in jail as well as caning or a fine.

The punishment for sexual exploitation is a fine of up to $10,000 or jail of up to five years or both.

Criminal intimidation carries a jail term of up to two years or a fine, or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 15, 2016, with the headline 'Married man accused of raping minor 'attempted suicide''. Print Edition | Subscribe