A company director, 47, who raped an underage girl who was his son’s former girlfriend was sentenced to 20 years’ jail and 15 strokes of the cane yesterday. A High Court judge said the man had taken advantage of the “innocence and helplessness” of a young girl over a long period, and had no qualms about causing her emotional damage to satisfy his desires.
Justice Lee Seiu Kin accepted that there was no physical violence involved but he said the man’s behaviour was “predatory” and “manipulative”, and that he was “old enough to be her father”.
The man cannot be named to protect the identity of the girl.
He pleaded guilty to two charges of statutory rape and one charge of sexual penetration of a minor. Fourteen other charges were considered during sentencing. The court heard that he was accessing his son’s Facebook account in December 2012 when he found nude pictures of the girl.
The Primary 5 girl had sent the images via private message after the Primary 6 boy asked for them.
The man contacted the girl, saying he wanted to meet her to talk about her break-up with his son. On Christmas Eve, he drove her to Copthorne King’s Hotel and raped her in a room he had booked.
Initially, the girl felt angry about the rape and was afraid he would share the nude pictures. However, she grew to like the man, who told her he loved her. He also showed concern for her.
They continued meeting for consensual sex in carparks, hotels and the rooftop of her condominium. When she turned 12, he drove her to a deserted carpark, gave her birthday presents and asked her to perform oral sex on him.
He also took pictures of their sex acts with his mobile phone.
In February 2014, she wanted to end the affair after getting into a relationship with a teenage boy, but the man refused. Using prepaid SIM cards, he posed several times as a mystery man and sent her messages threatening to post her naked pictures online. Unaware that he was responsible for the messages, she turned to him for help.
He also contacted her friends, and used her naked image as the profile picture of a WhatsApp account. In July that year, a parent saw the picture in a chat window on his daughter’s phone, and recognised the victim.
Defence counsel Anand Nalachandran asked that the man be given 12 to 15 years’ jail, as his client had indulged in extra-marital affairs as a mechanism to cope with stress at work and home.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen argued that the man be given 21 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane, saying he had no genuine feelings for the girl at all. Instead, she was just an “easy target” that he treated as a sex object. – The Straits Times/Asia News Network