Mini-mart worker who sexually assaulted, tried to rape 12-year-old girl jailed 13 years

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Udhayakumar Dhakshinamoorthy, 31, pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted rape and one count of sexual penetration of a minor. (Photo: Getty Images)

A mini-mart employee who took a liking to a 12-year-old girl sexually assaulted her and tried to rape her in 2016, a court heard.

The 31-year-old man’s crimes came to light when his then-pregnant girlfriend found a video of the minor in her secondary school uniform on his phone and reported the matter to the police. The victim turned 13 later that year.

At the High Court on Thursday (10 January), Indian national Udhayakumar Dhakshinamoorthy was sentenced to a total of 13 years’ jail with 12 strokes of the cane.

He pleaded guilty to two charges of attempted rape and one count of sexual penetration of a minor.

Four other charges – three of committing an indecent act with a child and one of procuring the commission of an obscene act by a child – were considered in sentencing.

Asked victim for nudes, gave her freebies

Udhayakumar started working at a mini-mart in Boon Lay in September 2016. That same month, he took notice of the victim who visited the shop with her younger siblings.

A few days later, when the girl returned to shop for groceries on her own, Udhayakumar asked her to follow him to a staircase. There, he asked her to be his girlfriend and she agreed.

Three days later, when the girl returned to the mini-mart, Udhayakumar gave her a SIM card and his contact number so that they could communicate.

Later that day, Udhayakumar asked her for nude photos and videos of herself. The victim sent him one such photo and one video.

Thereafter, whenever the girl visited the store, Udhayakumar allowed her to take various items for free. Whenever no one else was around, he would kiss and hug her.

Called victim “wife”, tried to rape her

Udhayakumar later started being more intimate with her.

Over six occasions in late 2016, he hugged, kissed and groped her. He would also give her $5 to $10 afterwards.

Udhayakumar started calling the girl “wife” while the girl called him “uncle”. He said he wanted her to follow him to India so they could get married. Unbeknowst to the girl, he was in a relationship with a woman here.

On one occasion, at the second floor staircase of a block of HDB flats, Udhayakumar asked the girl for sex. When she said she did not know what that was, he told her, “come, I teach”. He sexually assaulted her and made her perform a sexual act on him.

On another occasion, Udhayakumar brought the girl to a friend’s first floor flat in Boon Lay. He tried to rape her, but was unsuccessful. She told him to stop as it was painful.

Undeterred, he tried to rape her again on another day. He brought her to the top of a HDB block of flats in Boon Lay. He tried to rape her three times, but was unsuccessful. She told him to stop as it was painful.

Frustrated by his multiple failed attempts to rape her, Udhayakumar told the girl that she need not see him anymore. He paid her $50. Thereafter, whenever she came by the mini-mart, he no longer let her take items for free. The girl did not tell anyone about the incidents.

Pregnant girlfriend uncovered crimes

In late October 2016, Udhayakumar began dating another woman. In May 2017, they went to a hotel and he fell asleep.

The woman suspected Udhayakumar was having an affair. She was planning to marry him and was carrying his child.

She unlocked his phone and was shocked to find the video of the victim, which showed her in her secondary school uniform. She made a police report three days later.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Sruthi Boppana and Gail Wong asked Judicial Commissioner Pang Khang Chau to impose a total of 14 years’ jail with 12 strokes of the cane.

They highlighted that Udhayakumar had sexually groomed and exploited a vulnerable minor.

In mitigation, Udhayakumar told the court via a Tamil interpreter that he wished to apologise to the victim and her parents.

He told the judge, “I feel great shame to stand before you as a criminal. I have also spoiled my parents’ names because of this.”

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