He befriended two young girls through Facebook with the intention of having sex with them.
Anthony Lim Yao Ming, then 17 years old, assumed the identity of his mother to text one of his “girlfriends”, a 14-year-old secondary student, to pressure her into meeting him. He then raped the girl of below average intelligence, whom he knew through Facebook, at his flat after meeting her for the first time.
He also met another victim, then 13, through Facebook and had sex with her on their first meeting. The victim’s mother found out about the incident after she saw her daughter’s bloodstained underwear.
Lim, now 18, was sentenced to 10 years’ jail and 12 strokes of the cane on one count of aggravated rape and one count of sexual penetration of a minor under 16 on Monday (12 March) in the High Court. Both victims in these two charges were assessed to have low range and borderline intelligence.
Another eight charges of a similar nature involving two other underage girls – who were then 12 – were taken into consideration for his sentencing. These charges dated as far back as 2013. None of the four victims can be named to protect their identities.
During sentencing, Justice Kannan Ramesh said, “Rape is a grave offence. It’s a violation of a person’s body,” he said. “Women have an inviolable right to be respected and they have an inviolable right to say no.”
On the offence of aggravated rape, the judge slammed Lim’s conduct and said, “I am deeply perturbed by the manner and mode of the offence that was committed…the offence was laced with premeditation.”
A secondary school dropout, Lim used Facebook to befriend two of his victims before asking to be in a relationship with them.
In the case of his 13-year-old victim, Lim befriended her in December 2015. The duo began chatting when Lim told the girl he was 17 and lied that he was studying in a polytechnic.
Lim asked the victim to be his girlfriend a month later and the pair met up for the first time on 14 January 2016. He brought the girl to his flat where he had sex with her after reassuring her that she would not get pregnant.
Three days later, Lim told the girl that he wanted to break up with her but they got back together after three days.
On 25 January 2016, Lim told the girl he wanted to meet her at his flat and the latter agreed. Lim asked her to have sex with him and she agreed on the condition that the sexual encounter would be the last as she wanted a “loving relationship” with Lim and “not one where she was made to feel that he was merely using her,” said the prosecution.
The two had sex and the girl bled from the encounter. The girl’s mother found her stained underwear the next day and asked her daughter about it. Even though the girl lied about having period stains, she came clean after her mother asked her about the incident again.
The girl’s parents brought her to make a police report on 1 February 2016. By then, Lim had broken up with the girl again. He was interviewed by the police on 10 February 2016 about the offence.
While under investigation for the incident, Lim resumed contact with his second victim, then 14, on Facebook after breaking up and losing contact with her in 2015. They had yet to meet each other at the time.
On 30 May 2016, Lim asked her to be his girlfriend again and she agreed.
A month later, pretending to be his mother, Lim texted the girl, asking why she had not met up with him even though the two were a couple. The girl felt guilty as a result of the messages and agreed to meet up with him.
The pair met on 29 June 2016 outside the girl’s school when he took her to his flat without telling her about the destination.
Upon reaching the flat, Lim brought the girl to his room and closed the door. She sat on the floor but Lim carried her to his bed, making her fearful.
The girl felt uncomfortable and even more fearful when be began kissing and hugging her while laying on top of her. She pushed him away asked him to stop to no avail.
When Lim began stripping her, she protested and Lim threatened to hurt her. He then raped the girl, who cried throughout the process.
After the incident, the girl called her teacher over the incident while on board a cab to her school. Her teacher informed the girl’s mother who then made a police report.
The prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy, said that the seriousness of the offences rendered probation or reformative training, which is usually reserved for young offenders, inappropriate.
“His modus operandi (over a three-year period) involved exploiting the gullibility and loneliness of adolescent girls and convincing them that they shared a genuine romantic relationship, only to use them for his own sexual gratification at the very first meeting,” said the DPP.
The prosecution sought a jail sentence of 10 years and the mandatory minimum of 12 cane stokes.
Lim’s Criminal Legal Aid Scheme-assigned lawyer, Nakoorsha Abdul Kadir, objected to the prosecution’s description of Lim as a “scheming” man who took advantage of young girls.
“He is a secondary school dropout, an immature young boy, not a criminal mastermind,” said the lawyer.
However, the prosecution stressed that Lim was “not merely a naughty boy” but a man who “cunningly planned” his offences.