Man, 22, gets jail and cane for molesting two girls

A full-time national serviceman who molested two young girls was jailed for 18 months and ordered to be given three strokes of the cane on Thursday.

Lee Yi Ting, 22, pleaded guilty to touching an 11-year-old outside a condominium in the Upper East Coast area on Oct 22 last year.

Earlier on Oct 8, he had pulled down a nine-year-old's pants and underwear and molested her at a staircase landing of the condominium.

A district court heard that the 11-year-old was on her way to her friend's house nearby when Lee extended his hand and touched her chest while walking past her.

Shocked, she hit his hand and ran towards her friend's house. She made a police report the next day.

Assistant Public Prosecutor Lydia Goh said that on Oct 8 last year, the nine-year-old walked out of the lift of the condominium to go to a friend's house when Lee asked for her age and whether she could help him.

The victim agreed.

Lee gestured to her to follow him to the staircase landing where he then knelt down and molested her after pulling down her pants and underwear to her thigh level.

He stood up. The victim quickly pulled up her pants and underwear and left.

When she was about to knock on her friend's door, Lee hugged her and said "thank you''. Before leaving, he touched her again.

The victim told her father what had happened and the latter called the police.

Lee's lawyer Goh Siok Leng said her client was diagnosed as a paedophile by the Institute of Mental Health. Had he known of his psychiatric disorder earlier, he would certainly have sought medical help, she said.

She also said Lee was determined to change and would get the necessary treatment upon his release.

A third charge of insulting modesty was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Lee could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment on each charge of molesting a person under 14 years old.

- The Straits Times


Private tuition teacher jailed for molesting student

A private tuition teacher who molested his student in 2011 was on Thursday sentenced to 18 months in prison.

He pleaded guilty to two of three offences committed on the 11-year-old girl during weekly mathematics tuition sessions.

The court heard that these sessions had been held since June 2010 at a maisonette along Potong Pasir Ave 1 that belonged to the victim's grandmother. Lessons would take place on the first floor, while the girl's relatives would usually be upstairs.

In one instance on July 6, 2011, the man, now 58, reached under the girl's clothes while she was resting her head on the table, and touched her breast.

A week later, he touched her chest over her T-shirt. The girl, now 15, pushed his hand away and a police report was made the next day.

He could have been jailed for up to five years and fined for each of the charges he faced, but cannot be caned as he is over 50.

- The Straits Times

Why Court of Appeal rejected arguments that Section 377A was unconstitutional

The Constitution is the supreme law of Singapore and any law enacted by Parliament which is inconsistent with the Constitution is considered void, or invalid.

Mr Tan Eng Hong and gay couple Mr Gary Lim and Mr Kenneth Chee contended that Section 377A contravened Articles 9 and 12 of the Constitution and so should be struck down.

But the Court of Appeal on Wednesday rejected their arguments and ruled that Section 377A was constitutional. Article 9 states that "no person shall be deprived of his life or personal liberty save in accordance with the law".

Senior Counsel Deborah Barker, acting for the couple, argued that the right to life and personal liberty under Article 9 should include a right to privacy and personal autonomy for a person to express love towards another human being.

But the court rejected this interpretation, holding that the phrase "life or personal liberty" refers only to a person's freedom from an unlawful deprivation of life and unlawful incarceration.

Mr M Ravi, acting for Mr Tan, argued that Section 377A was so vague, arbitrary and absurd that it did not qualify as "law" under Article 9. The court disagreed that the phrase "act of gross indecency with another man" in Section 377A was vague.

Also, the concept of indecency is found in other Singapore laws, such as the Women's Charter and the Children and Young Persons Act.

The court also rejected Mr Ravi's argument that Section 377A was absurd because it criminalised a minority based on a core aspect of their identity which was unchangeable.

The court noted that there are still conflicting scientific views on whether sexual orientation is unchangeable so it was premature to express any conclusive views on it.

In any case, the supposed unchangeability of sexual orientation is an "extra-legal" issue that is outside the remit of the court.

Article 12 states that "all persons are equal before the law and entitled to the equal protection of the law". It specifically forbids discrimination against Singapore citizens on grounds of religion, race, descent or place of birth.

While Article 12 guarantees equal protection, the courts have long held that lawmakers are allowed to pass laws that treat people differently - if it is based on a reasonable classification.

In Singapore, the courts have used what is known as the reasonable classification test to determine whether a statute that differentiates is consistent with Article 12.

Under this test, a statute that differentiates is constitutional if the classification is based on an "intelligible differentia", meaning a distinguishing feature that is discernible, and if the differentia bears a rational relation to the objective of the law.

The court held that the classification prescribed by Section 377A - men who perform acts of gross indecency with other men - was based on an intelligible differentia.

After analysing historical documents on the enactment of Section 377A, the court ruled that there was a "complete coincidence" in the relation between that differentia and the purpose and objective of Section 377A, to enforce societal morality.

As such, Section 377A passes legal muster under this test.

The court went on to note that Article 12 does not address the issues involved in Section 377A.

While the provision specifically prohibits discrimination based on religion, race, descent or place of birth, the words "gender", "sex" and "sexual orientation" are noticeably absent.

- The Straits Times


Man with walking difficulty molested girl as she helped him to cross overhead bridge

Taking advantage of a teenager's kindness, a man with walking difficulties molested the 16-year-old helping him cross an overhead bridge in Bukit Timah.

Yong Kiam Khim, 59, hugged and kissed his victim on the cheek, and stroked her breast.

On Tuesday, Yong, who is jobless, was sentenced to three months' jail after pleading guilty to using criminal force to outrage the teen's modesty on April 10.

A similar offence committed in September last year, when he put his arm over a 20-year-old woman's shoulder and held her hand on a public bus, was taken into consideration.

The court heard that in the April incident, Yong had put his hands on his victim's shoulder and waist, and held on to her arm, after she agreed to help him across the bridge along Dunearn Road.

Now 17, she continued to support him down the stairs after he had hugged and kissed her, thinking he had just been grateful.

But Yong continued trying to kiss her. At one point, when they paused by the railing to rest, he held on to her waist, and pressed his body against hers.

This was when she broke free and called her boyfriend, who rushed over and called the police.

Yong had boarded a bus and left, but was caught as the couple had taken down the vehicle's registration number.

Passing sentence yesterday, District Judge Victor Yeo noted that Yong had persisted with his advances towards his young victim even though she had told him to stop.

He had also molested her while out on police bail for the earlier offence.

Considering other factors including Yong's physical condition, however, the judge said he was prepared to "exercise a measure of compassion".

Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau left the length of Yong's jail term to the court but highlighted that nine months was the benchmark punishment.

Pleading for leniency, Yong's lawyer S.S. Dhillon said his client was suffering from "old age-related ailments". He also cited a medical report that said Yong has a neurological condition and a history of cervical myelopathy, or damage to the part of the spinal cord that is in the neck.

These left him weak in his lower limbs and with an unsteady gait. Yong could have been jailed for up to two years and fined, but cannot be caned as he is above 50.

- The Straits Times


Man sentenced to jail for having sex with 13-year-old girl

After meeting a 13-year-old girl through a mutual friend in January this year, Muhammad Nur Hakim Abdullah asked her to be his girlfriend.

She agreed and days later, he pressured her into having unprotected sex with him in his home.

On Monday, Muhammad Nur Hakim was sentenced to a year in prison for having sex with the minor, after pleading guilty to two of seven charges which also involved oral and anal sex. All the offences were committed in January.

The jobless man, 21, received a further five months' jail for drug-related offences.

The court heard that Muhammad Nur Hakim had invited the girl to stay overnight at his home.

He asked the girl, now 14, to have sex with him after his siblings went out and the pair were left alone in the HDB flat in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 8. She ignored him at first, but eventually gave in after he persisted with the request.

One to two weeks later, they had sex again, this time in a toilet cubicle in Bishan Park II.

Separate cases against two other men are still pending for similar charges committed with the same girl, who ended up pregnant and had to have an abortion. A third, Musa Ahmad, received the same one-year jail term last month.

Muhammad Nur Hakim's lawyer, Mr Christopher Sim, said his client was born out of wedlock and lacked a father figure in his life. The maximum penalty for having sex with someone under the age of 16 is 10 years in jail and a fine.

- The Straits Times


Youth who admitted to raping girl, 13, withdraws guilty plea

A 20-YEAR-OLD youth, who admitted last month to confining a 13-year-old girl in his flat and raping her, withdrew his plea of guilt on the day he was expected to be sentenced in the High Court.

The youth changed his mind yesterday and now wants to contest the charges against him in a trial. Trial dates will be fixed later.

He was absent without leave from full-time national service when he allegedly raped the girl at his flat on May 21 last year.

He is accused of punching her head, threatening to hurt her with a knife unless she complied with his demands, and refusing to let her leave his flat after locking the main door.

He also faced 10 other counts of having sex with a minor involving three other girls aged between 13 and 14 at the time, as well as one count of theft. These offences took place between October 2012 and December last year. The youth was not named to protect their identities.

Sentencing was adjourned last month, after hepleaded guilty to one count each of aggravated rape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and causing hurt, as well as three of the 10 charges of underage sex.

But yesterday, the youth's lawyer Anand Nalachandran told the court that his client now disputes the facts relating to the alleged rape and asked to retract his guilty plea.

Justice Choo Han Teck granted the request in view of the serious nature of the charges.

Aggravated rape carries between eight and 20 years' jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane.

- The Straits Times


Man commits 27 sexual offences on five primary school boys

When he started having recurrent, sexually arousing fantasies and urges towards young boys, Lok Kwok, 59, hatched a plan to get his fix.

He would chat up students from the primary school who played near his home in Bukit Batok and entice them with computer games to go back with him. In reality, what he wanted was for them to perform sexual acts with him.

He snared his first victims – a pair of brothers, aged 10 and seven – and went on to commit 27 sexual offences on them and three other boys over around five months, buying their silence with gifts.

On Monday (Oct 13), prosecutors urged a district judge to sentence Lok to 12 years in prison.

The court heard that the logistical officer first preyed on the older brother in October 2012, when he asked the boy to take off his shirt and hug and kiss him, while taking pictures of the act.

Later that month, he did the same with the younger brother and bought the siblings some game cards as a reward. Subsequently, he made the brothers masturbate him.

Lok also made another seven-year-old boy masturbate him and perform oral sex on him while he filmed the acts. He also preyed on a nine-year-old, buying him game cards in exchange for snapping pictures of the boy in the nude, and hugging and kissing him, as well as touching his private parts.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Zhong Zewei said Lok’s persistent offending showed he is “either totally unable or unwilling” to control himself.

Mr Zhong added that the Institute of Mental Health has diagnosed Lok with paedophilia, which provides “substantial ballast for the principles of prevention and deterrence”. His diagnosis reinforces the need to specifically deter his repugnant conduct and isolate him from young boys who may become his victims in future, the prosecutor added.

In mitigation, Lok, who pleaded guilty last month to eight charges including seven charges under the Children and Young Persons Act, told the court in Mandarin that he has an older sister to take care of and that he has realised his mistake.

“I’m apologetic to the young children ... and I’m sorry,” he said, through an interpreter. He is expected to be sentenced on Nov 3.

- TODAY newspaper

Pimp gets 35 months for running vice enterprise; wife jailed 10 weeks

Ang Boon Seng, the man who ran nine pubs and masterminded one of Singapore's largest prostitution rings, was sentenced to 35 months behind bars on Monday.

The 40-year-old made a total profit of at least $1.08 million over the course of his business over four years, 40 per cent of which came from prostitution earnings.

The monthly profits ranged between $27,000 and $60,000. Ang, who had admitted to 43 vice-related charges and seven brought by the Ministry of Manpower (MOM), was fined a total of $98,000 on the MOM charges of demanding money from the Filipino women as a condition of their employment.

District Judge Lim Keng Yeow also imposed a $3,600 disgorgement payment on Ang. Ang will start his sentence on Dec 22 after his Filipino wife, Anne Asuncion Ylarde, 31, who was given 10 weeks' jail on Monday, completes her sentence for bringing in Filipinas to work in the flesh trade.

She would frequently travel to the Philippines to look for women interested in earning money to come to Singapore as "entertainment performers".

To dupe the authorities, she would sometimes pretend to be the women's sisters and fly back to Singapore with them.

Ang came to know Ylarde in 2003 and married her six years later. They have six children aged two months to 13 years old, three of whom are from Ang's previous marriage.

The court heard that Ang started Tokyo Drift at Orchard Plaza in June 2009, and within four years, opened a total of nine pubs. Ang's prostitution ring was highly organised, with monitoring cameras and "smoke rooms" that could emit smoke when clients and the prostitutes wanted to get intimate.

In passing sentence, Judge Lim said Ang played a pivotal role in this sophisticated syndicate that operated transnationally. He said Ang also benefited substantially from running this illegal enterprise, and took elaborate measures to evade detection. Ang had 189 charges taken into consideration while his wife had five.

- The Straits Times

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