After a 27-year-old man and 15-year-old girl met via social media, they met in person five times. And despite the man knowing the girl’s age, the pair had sex on four occasions.
Zahier Hilmi Zulkifli was sentenced in the State Courts on Monday (5 March) to 24 months’ jail after pleading guilty to three counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16. Nine other similar charges were taken into consideration.
The court heard that the two met each other online in February 2017 through an app called Whisper and stayed in contact via a chat app called Kik. The girl, who cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order, told Zahier she was 15 and he told her he was 26. They shared sexually explicit content with each other, including naked photos of themselves.
The pair met four times between February and March 2017 where they had sex in each others’ homes. Zahier also performed other sex acts on the girl.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Adrianni Marhain sought a jail term of 27 months, saying the two were not in a genuine relationship. Pointing out that the two had unprotected sex on a few of the occasions, DPP Adrianni said Zahier exposed the girl to sexually transmitted diseases and pregnancy. “The accused should have known better. He knew how young the minor was,” she said.
Zahier’s lawyer K Jayakumar Naidu said in his client’s defence that the relationship was consensual and that Zahier had offered to marry the girl, but her parents objected.
Sentencing Zahier to 24 months’ jail, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim said to Jayakumar that the girl should be in school, not somebody’s wife.
For sexual penetration of a minor, Zahier could have been jailed up to 10 years, fined or both.
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