Recalcitrant sex offender gets jail, caning for assaulting victim, 13

Amir Hussain
Senior Reporter
Rojas Gil Dominic Barbosa, 24, pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual penetration of a minor under 14. (Photo: Getty)

SINGAPORE — He had been sentenced to probation and reformative training for sexual crimes involving three minors aged 12 to 15.

But just months after Rojas Gil Dominic Barbosa was released from the Reformative Training Centre, he struck again.

After cajoling a 13-year-old he just got to know into having sex at a staircase landing of a multi-storey car park, he told her to keep mum about the crime as he had been incarcerated for under-age sex previously.

Regretful about what Rojas did to her, the teen later attempted suicide.

At the State Courts on Friday (10 January), Rojas, now 24, was jailed for four years and 11 months, and given two strokes of the cane.

The permanent resident from the Philippines pleaded guilty to one charge of sexual penetration of a minor under 14.

Got to know victim online

On 25 March 2018, Rojas, then 22, met the 13-year-old victim via a live streaming app called Bigo Live. He assumed the identity of “Nova”.

The victim told him she was 13 and studying in a secondary school. Rojas asked for her handphone number and the two began chatting on WhatsApp.

The culprit also asked the victim to meet him near his home the same day. While hanging out, Rojas asked about if she would like to try having sex with him. The victim indicated that she was not and kept quiet.

Undeterred, he brought her to a staircase landing at a multi-storey car park nearby and again pressed her about having sex with him. She again told him that she was not interested and shook her head. Rojas told the victim that it would only be “for a while” but, still, she said no.

The perpetrator then told her that she would “enjoy it”. She finally relented to his advances and they had unprotected sex for about 10 minutes.

Rojas then asked the victim to be his girlfriend and she agreed. He told her not to tell anyone about the incident before they parted.

Victim attempted suicide

The victim later regretted caving in to Rojas and blocked him on Bigo Live, Instagram and WhatsApp.

On 8 June 2018, the victim’s mother made a police report and the perpetrator was arrested on 19 June.

In passing sentence, District Judge Marvin Bay noted that Rojas had been assessed by a psychiatrist to have “problems managing his sexual urges”, although he did not have pedophilic disorder.

The judge also noted that the victim was “apparently left with significant psychological and emotional scars following this illicit and perverse interaction”. She was twice taken to the Institute of Mental Health’s emergency room - once on 31 May 2018 for attempted suicide and another time for an act of self harm. She was also diagnosed with childhood emotional disorder.

Judge Bay said, “I find Mr Rojas’ persistent badgering for the victim to give in to his sexual demands, and the fact that he took her to a secluded car park staircase landing to continue his campaign of relentless persuasion until she bent to his will, to be especially aggravating.”

Given the perpetrator’s history of offending, the judge said was “all the more essential to send a clear and unequivocal signal that sex offenders who prey on the young, whatever their age, must and will be sternly dealt within our courts.”

In sentencing Rojas, the judge also considered his youth and that he had been remanded for five weeks for psychiatric evaluation.

The maximum punishment for sexual penetration of a minor under 14 is up to 20 years’ jail along with a fine and caning.

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