A 21-year-old man was sentenced to 13 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane on Monday (23 April) for raping a 12-year-old girl and causing her to contract a sexually transmitted disease.
In a case involving what the prosecution described as the “grievous sexual exploitation of a child”, Teng Jia Ren Eugene pleaded guilty in the High Court on Monday (23 April) to two charges of sexual penetration of a minor and one charge of sexually exploiting a child.
Eight other similar charges were taken into consideration for Teng’s sentencing. The victim cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order.
The two became acquainted sometime in July 2015 via a mobile app, then exchanged numbers and began chatting on WhatsApp. At the time, Teng was undergoing national service and the girl had just completed her Primary School Leaving Examinations (PSLE).
Sometime in October 2015, the girl admitted over WhatsApp she liked him.
In some of the WhatsApp conversations that followed over the next few months, Teng would tell the girl he was “horny” and that he wanted to touch her and see naked photos of her. Teng also steered their conversations towards sexually related topics.
Teng asked the girl for naked photographs of herself or her private parts, which she sent him. He also sent her photos of his own private parts.
The two arranged to meet at Teng’s home on 27 November. Prior to that, Teng had asked the girl to send him photographs of her clothes and underwear so that he could choose what she should wear to the meet-up
Teng also told the girl not to tell anyone about their relationship and to delete their conversations from her phone.
The two met in the morning of 27 November for the first time. While in the lift going up to Teng’s unit, Teng began hugging and kissing the girl. The girl did not reciprocate. He then took her to his bedroom, undressed her and committed obscene acts on her.
He also raped her, causing her to shout in pain.
Later that morning, he told the girl to go home because his family members were almost home. He added that they could not go out because he had another appointment.
The girl was disappointed that she did not get to go out with Teng. That morning, she had only wanted to go out on a date with him and not engage with sexual activities with him, said the prosecution.
Teng then arranged to meet the girl again on 17 December. The girl told Teng she wanted to watch a movie with him.
Prior to this second meeting, Teng asked the girl to send photographs of her private parts to him.
The girl initially refused but eventually agreed to do so over a video call, where she showed Teng different parts of her unclothed body at Teng’s request.
On 17 December, when the girl visited Teng’s home, Teng again brought her to his bedroom and performed sex acts on her. He then had sex with her without using a condom.
After they were done, Teng told the girl to send a message to her mother informing her that she was on the way home. The girl’s mother grew suspicious when she saw the message and asked the girl where she was.
When the girl arrived at home, her mother continued to question her. The girl gave her mother Teng’s number and she later met him to ask what he had done to her.
Teng initially said that he had only held the girl’s hand and kissed her.
The girl’s mother then brought her to see a gynaecologist and the girl admitted that Teng had sex with her. They then lodged a police report and Teng was arrested soon after.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) James Chew pointed out that the girl tested positive for chlamydia during the medical examination.
Due to the offences, the girl was also diagnosed with depression and suffered from insomnia, nightmares, poor concentration, self-harm and suicidal thoughts.
DPP Chew urged the court to jail Teng 12 years and cane him 14 strokes, saying that the child was “shamelessly exploited to the fullest” and ”treated as nothing more than a sex object”. He added that during the second incident of sexual exploitation, she was raped until she bled.
Chew also pointed out that local media reports said there had been a spike in child sex abuse cases, an increase that was in line with cases the Attorney-General’s Chamber had been seeing. The courts needed to send a strong message that sexual contact with children will not be tolerated, said Chew.
Teng’s lawyer James Joseph said Teng was a young offender who had pleaded guilty early on. He asked the court to sentence Teng to 10 years’ jail and six strokes of the cane.
Justice Chua Lee Ming said that an aggravating factor in the case was that Teng had taken advantage of a 12-year-old girl and groomed her to be a sexual plaything to satisfy his own lust.
“Each step you took was to lure her into your depraved world,” said Justice Chua.
Noting the psychological harm inflicted on the girl, the judge agreed that a deterrent sentence was called for and slapped Teng with a 13-year jail term along with 12 strokes of the cane.
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