CEO jailed 14 years, caned for sexually assaulting son's classmate after Halloween party

Wan Ting Koh
A man in handcuffs. PHOTO: MARVIN RECINOS/AFP/Getty Images

A chief executive earlier convicted of sexually assaulting his son’s nine-year-old classmate during a Halloween sleepover was jailed 14 years and sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane in the High Court on Friday (31 August).

The 48-year-old foreign national was convicted of two counts of sexual assault by penetration of a person below 14 years old and one charge of aggravated molestation after a trial.

The man, who has been living in Singapore since 2010, cannot be named in order to protect the boy’s identity.

In sentencing the man, Justice See Kee Oon said he found no relevant mitigating factors in the man’s favour. That the man was a first offender was a “neutral factor”, added the judge.

The father of three, who was seen in court dressed in prison garb and sporting a neck brace, was expressionless as he was sentenced. In an earlier hearing, he had said he would appeal his conviction.

The man sexually assaulted the boy while his son was asleep in the same room. He committed the offences in his house after a Halloween party in 2015. The boy was then sharing a room with the man’s son during a sleepover.

After 11pm, as the boy lay on the bed, the man pulled down his shorts to touch his genitals and sexually assaulted him twice. He did so while his son was sleeping in the bottom bunk of the bed.

In an earlier hearing, the man’s lawyer Selva Kumara Naidu had claimed that the victim might have imagined the assault as he had consumed too much sugar.

On Friday, Naidu said in mitigation that the offences had occurred for around a minute. He added that his client’s condition had been worsened by his time in remand.

The man suffers from an old injury: a spinal fracture resulting from a fall from an elephant in 2011. While remanded in prison in August this year, the man was admitted to Changi General Hospital for six days due to his injury.

He later strained his neck while being handcuffed to a bed in the prison’s sick bay, resulting in the need for a neck brace. He is currently on painkillers.

Naidu applied for bail pending appeal for the man, stating that the man would have “suffered physically without any recourse” in remand if his conviction was successful. This was rejected by the judge.

Earlier this month, the man was  slapped with fresh sexual offence charges involving another eight-year-old boy. The alleged offences occurred between April and May 2011.

He is accused of attempting to perform oral sex on the boy, three counts of molesting him by fondling his private parts, and one count of showing him a pornographic video. The accusations are  still pending.

For sexual assault by penetration, the man faces a jail term of between eight and 20 years and at least 12 strokes of the cane on each charge. For aggravated molestation, he could be jailed up to five years and/or fined and/or caned.

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