Man who had sex with 13-year-old girl on first meeting jailed 15 months

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
Singapore State Courts (AFP Photo/Mohd Fyrol)

He had sex with a 13-year-old female student whom he met for the first time, even while he was serving probation for having sex with two other underage girls.

Timothy Ong Tze Wei, now 23, was sentenced to 15 months’ jail in the State Courts on Monday (13 November) after pleading guilty to one count of having sex with a person under 16 years old.

Ong, who was working as a project manager in the family business, was on probation for similar offences he committed on another two girls aged 13 and 14 years old between 2011 and 2014. He was placed on 18 months’ supervised probation on 8 April 2015 for these offences. His probation had not ended by the time he re-offended.

In sentencing Ong, District Judge (DJ) Kenneth Yap told Ong that there was “clearly a pattern to (his) behaviour”.

“You have a predatorial instinct that must be curbed. You consciously walked into the situation,” said the DJ. He added that Ong should have turned away upon finding out the girl’s age when they first communicated.

Ong had met the girl, who cannot be named to protect her identity, sometime in February last year on Instagram. While conversing through the photo-sharing platform, the girl told Ong she was a secondary two student while Ong revealed that he was 22 years old.

Later in the same month, Ong messaged the girl through Instagram, telling her that he was near her school and wanted to meet and send her home, which the girl agreed to.

The girl met Ong face to face for the first time after her CCA at 4pm, when Ong came to pick her in a white Toyota. The girl sat in the rear passenger seat.

Ong drove to a carpark in Yishun, prompting the girl to ask him why they were there. However, Ong remained silent. He parked his car on the top few levels of the carpark, after which he sat beside the girl on the rear passenger seat.

He removed his bermudas and the girl sat on his lap. Ong then pushed the girl’s shorts and underwear aside and had sex with the girl. After a short while, the girl asked Ong to stop and he complied.

Ong got dressed, went back to the driver’s seat and drove off with the girl still in the rear passenger seat. He told the girl not to tell anyone about the encounter before he dropped her off near Orchid Country Club in Yishun. Ong then proceeded to play golf. This was the only time Ong ever met the girl.

The offence only came to light when the girl happened to meet police officers in a void deck of a HDB block in July last year. Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy told the court that the girl was playing catching with her school mates when the police stopped by and asked the girl if she had anything to tell them in a “completely fortuitous” moment.

The prosecution sought 15 months’ jail for Ong, stating that there was a “clear element of exploitation” by Ong, as he had not been in a relationship with the girl. DPP Kavita added that the two engaged in unprotected sex, exposing the girl to the risk of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.

The DPP described Ong as “incorrigible and unrepentant” as he was on probation for similar offences at the time of the incident.

In mitigation, lawyer Peter Low, who was representing Ong, said that sex between the two was consensual as Ong didn’t coerce or pressure the victim. Ong was also remorseful for his actions, the lawyer added.

Ong told the court that he has since found a girlfriend who is 20 years old, and the two have been dating for almost a year.

For having sex with a person under 14 years old, Ong could have been jailed up to 20 years, and fined or caned.