A 25-year-old man was jailed 12 months on Thursday (18 May) after he pleaded guilty to having sex with an underage girl whom he met through a mobile phone social app.
Xavier Liew Shuang Yuen had sex with the 13-year-old victim just three days after they started talking on BeeTalk, an app which allows strangers to connect online.
Liew was sentenced to 12 months’ jail for one count of sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 16; a second charge was taken into consideration. The victim’s name cannot be revealed due to a court-imposed gag order.
Perpetrator lied about his age
According to court documents, Liew started chatting with the girl sometime between May and June 2014. He used the moniker “Valens”. Liew initially told the girl that he was 18 years old but later revealed that he was actually 22, while the girl told Liew her age.
Three days after the two started talking, Liew asked the girl to meet him and she agreed. After meeting, he brought her to his flat at Clementi West Street 2. No one else was at home at the time.
After directing the girl to his bedroom, Liew took a shower. He then sat beside the girl on the bed and started to hug her while touching her private parts through her clothes.
Liew told the girl to remove her clothes, but she said that she did not want to have sex. Liew told her to relax, saying that he was not going to have sex with her.
He then undressed the victim before stripping himself and had sex with her without a condom.
Lawyer cites ‘moment of folly’
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Siti Adrianni Marhain asked for a jail term of at least 12 months, while Liew’s lawyer James Ow Yong asked for a sentence of between 10 to 12 months.
In mitigation, Ow Yong said his client had committed the crime in a “moment of folly” and was not a predator. He said that the mobile app was for meeting people with similar intentions and that the victim had engaged in a conversation of her own volition.
DPP Siti, however, said that to assume that the victim knew what she was getting into was to cast aspersions on the victim.
District Judge Kenneth Yap pointed out that girl was at a “vulnerable” age and that Liew had the “legal and moral ground” as an older person to “not take advantage” of the girl. “Putting her in the situation is exploiting her vulnerability,” said Yap.
For sexual penetrating a minor under the age of 16, Liew could have been jailed up to 20 years, and/or fined or caned.