A 20-year-old man was sentenced to 16 years’ jail and given 15 strokes of the cane at the High Court on Monday (23 April) for committing sexual offences against 10 underaged girls.
Goh Kar Aip had pleaded guilty on 19 February to four charges – three counts of sexual penetration of a minor and one count of sexual assault by penetration – in relation to two of the victims.
An additional 34 charges were stood down for his sentencing.
From September 2014, Goh began chatting up girls from single-sex schools aged between 12 and 13 through apps such as Facebook and Instagram.
Once the girls were comfortable chatting with him, he would then centre their conversations on sex-related topics before moving on to exchanging nude photos with them.
Goh arranged to meet one such 12-year-old girl on 19 December 2015. During the meeting, Goh kissed and groped her, then brought her up to the bedroom of his flat where he continued to molest her.
After the encounter, the girl asked to break up with Goh as she did not feel comfortable seeing someone who was much older than her. Goh then threatened to circulate screenshots of their sex-related WhatsApp conversations to her school unless she did everything he asked her to do.
Terrified, she agreed. The two met again on 29 December, where Goh molested her and once again threatened to circulate their WhatsApp conversation. At the staircase landing of his block, he then performed a sex act on her twice and took photos of himself touching the girl.
Goh committed a similar offence on another girl on three occasions between 11 January and 24 January 2016. On the fourth occasion, in March that year, he brought the girl back to his flat and performed sex acts on her.
The offences came to light when a teacher heard that a young man had been harassing her students. She then discovered that four students had met Goh and that one of them was in a relationship with him. The girls’ parents were informed and a police report was lodged against him.
In March this year, parents of a 13-year-old girl made a police report after reading media reports about Goh.
The prosecution sought at least 15 years’ jail and 15 strokes of the cane for Goh, saying that he had “demonstrated a perverse desire to sexually violate pubescent young girls”.
Justice Kannan Ramesh handed down a jail term of 16 years and 15 strokes of the cane.
Goh sought a two-week deferment on his jail term, saying that his mother was in ill health and that he needed to help run her hawker stall.
Addressing the court, Goh said that the jail term “is going to be a very long time”. “I beg Your Honour to give me this time to make sure she’ll (Goh’s mother) be okay,” he said.
The prosecution objected to the deferment, saying that Goh knew he would be sentenced today and should have made preparations for his mother to be taken care of beforehand.
Denying Goh’s request, Justice Kannan pointed out that given the length of time between the date that Goh pleaded guilty and his sentencing, he should have already made plans for his mother’s situation.
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