A skipping rope coach who raped and sexually abused a primary school student he was coaching was sentenced to 25 years’ jail in the High Court on Monday (19 March).
Roger Yue Jr, 60, was found guilty last month on all seven charges for the sexual offences he committed against the girl, then 13, between late 2008 and 2010.
The charges include two counts of statutory rape, two counts of making the victim perform oral sex on him as well as violating her with the handle of a skipping rope and a vibrator. Forty-one additional charges of a similar nature were stood down.
Yue’s lawyer, Peter Fernando, told the court that his client maintains his innocence and will be appealing against his conviction.
The victim, now 22, cannot be named due to a gag order. According to her testimony, she first met Yue in 2005 after he was appointed to coach the skipping rope team that she was in.
The abuse took place at her primary school, his home, and his studio, where he would at times keep her at after everyone else left. The victim stopped interacting with the coach in 2010 and eventually confided in her polytechnic lecturer and counsellor about the incidents. She lodged a police report in April 2014.
The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Winston Man, sought a sentence of 23 years’ jail.
“In committing the offences, (Yue) exhibited no qualms in abusing the victim’s trust and his position as her skipping coach. The egregious nature if his conduct was exacerbated by the fact that the offences disclosed premeditation and a sustained pattern of sexual abuse,” said DPP Man.
The prosecution stressed on the need for general deterrence, especially as the case “features intrinsic elements of depravity which would inevitably generate public outrage”.
Stating that Yue’s actions were premeditated, the DPP said. “This is evident from the fact that he took steps to sexually groom the victim by getting her to wear revealing clothing and taking photographs of her in the nude before escalating his offences to encompass penetrative acts.”
In the course of investigations, Yue said that he was in a relationship with the girl, but he disavowed the claim during the trial.
On Yue’s length of jail term, Justice Aedit Abdullah said, “Where the offences committed are heinous, as they are here, it may be that a long sentence would need to be imposed even on a relatively older accused, and that in his circumstances, it may indeed operate to leave him in prison for the remainder of his expected life.”