A man stumbled upon naked photos of an 11-year-old girl after one of his sons and the girl ended their relationship.
On the pretext of comforting the girl over the failed relationship, the company director, now 47, contacted her to arrange a meet up at a hotel on Havelock Road on 24 December 2012.
But the victim only agreed to meet the father of two teenage boys at the hotel as he had her naked photos. She had earlier sent the photos to the man’s son via Facebook private messages. The man then raped the girl in a hotel room that he had booked before meeting her.
Subsequently, the man confessed that he had feelings for the girl and that he loved her. The two ended up engaging in sexual activities on several occasions between 2013 and 2014.
On Tuesday (6 March), the man pleaded guilty in the High Court to one charge of rape and two charges of sexual penetration of a minor. Twelve other similar charges, as well as one count of committing an indecent act, and one count of criminal intimidation, will be taken into consideration for sentencing.
Both the man and the girl cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order. The man first saw the girl at a swimming club, where his son and the girl were competitive swimmers. According to court documents, the young swimmers entered into a “boyfriend-girlfriend” relationship for several months.
The court heard that after the 24 December incident, the man continued to contact the girl, who responded to his messages. She eventually took a liking to him because she felt comfortable talking to him and appreciated his concern.
Sometime from early 2013, she began to regard him as her boyfriend. Their meet ups often involved sexual activities such as unprotected sex and oral sex in various locations such as car parks and the roof-top of the girl’s condominium residence.
The man took photos of the girl performing sexual acts on him and later began asking her to send him naked photos of herself. A total of 151 naked photos of the girl were found in the man’s mobile phone.
At times, the man was jealous and possessive over the girl. He refused to break up with her when she tried to end the relationship in February 2014. The girl wanted to do so because she felt bad about being with a married man and breaking up his family.
The man also sent the girl messages from different phone numbers, assuming various identities and threatening to publish the naked photos of her. Fearful that the photos would be circulated, the girl reached out to the man for help without knowing that he was the one sending the threats.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said in court, “The accused hoped that by his actions, he could control the victim and her activities and get the victim to continue to meet up with him for sexual activities.”
The girl continued to meet the man between February and June 2014 for sexual activities because she thought he was the only one who could help her deal with the unknown “persons” who were threatening to publish her naked photos. She received 172 threatening messages between 3 and 5 July 2014 from one of the phone numbers.
On one occasion in May 2014 after the two had sex, the man lied to her that he might have made her pregnant. He did this so that she would continue to go to him for help.
The offences came to light after a male friend of the girl’s mother saw revealing photos of the victim on his daughter’s phone in July 2014. Concerned about the photos, he informed the victim’s family.
When asked about the photos on 6 July 2014, the girl broke down and told her family about the threats and sexual encounters with the man. The family made a police report and the man was caught in a police ambush on the same day.
A psychiatric report stated that the girl still suffers from flashbacks of the sexual acts and sometimes has suicidal thoughts.
According to media reports, the man allegedly attempted suicide when he was due to appear in the High Court in March 2016.
Both the prosecution and defence are calling on psychiatrists to be cross-examined on the man’s psychiatric condition at the time of the offences to determine whether there are any mitigating factors to consider for sentencing.
The man faces up to 20 years in jail as well as caning or a fine on each charge of rape and sexual penetration of a minor.