Teen gets 18 months' probation for sex with four minors

A youth who had sex with four girls he befriended on Facebook was given 18 months' probation on Friday.

Nicholas Hsu Tian Hao, 18, an Institute of Technical Education student, had faced 12 charges, including three charges of shop theft. He had pleaded guilty to four charges and had the rest taken into consideration.

The court heard last month that Hsu came to know the first victim, then 14, on Facebook in 2012. He was then 16.

Sometime in August that year, the girl went to his flat in Sims Drive. She fell asleep in his bedroom and woke up to find Hsu on top of her and trying to have sex with her,

She pushed him away initially, but eventually relented. They ended the relationship the following month.

In December that year, he came to know the second victim, then 12, also through Facebook. They chatted and met for the first time later that month.

Sometime towards the end of the month, he called her at around midnight to come over to his place. She took a taxi there and they had sex in his room. They broke up soon later.

In the case of the third victim, Hsu met the 13-year-old for the first time when he asked her to his flat in July last year. No one was at home when he had sex with her.

The court heard that Hsu stole items worth $77 with four others from Watson's at Junction 8, Bishan, on Dec 24, 2012.

The court had called for reformative training and probation reports on Hsu, who was found suitable for both.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong sentenced him to 18 months' probation, requiring him to do 150 hours of community service and remain indoors from 10pm to 6am, His parents signed a $5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour and will attend, together with Hsu, counselling sessions to improve parenting skills. Hsu will be placed on four months of electronic monitoring.

The maximum penalty for sex with a person under 16 years old is 10 years' jail and a fine on each charge. For theft, the maximum penalty is seven years and a fine.

- The Straits Times


Views differ on anti-gay sex law at NUS forum

THE subject of universal human rights took a local turn at a university forum on Tuesday night, with two top lawyers disagreeing over whether an anti-gay sex law should be done away with.

National University of Singapore (NUS) law don Walter Woon said he was in favour of repealing the law because of what he sees as a "constitutional problem".

The Government has said that the law will not be proactively enforced. But Prof Woon, a former attorney-general, cited Section 35(8) of the Constitution to make the point that the powers to prosecute lie with the Attorney-General.

"So we have a very dangerous precedent here where the political authorities are saying to the Public Prosecutor - who is supposed to be independent - there are some laws that you don't enforce," he said at the 12th NUS Tembusu Forum attended by about 250 students.

"I find that very uncomfortable," he added.

Section 377A makes it a crime for men to commit acts of gross indecency with other men, whether in private or public. It carries a jail term of up to two years. The law, enacted in 1938, has been in the spotlight in recent years following Parliament debates and constitutional challenges.

Prof Woon said that homosexual sex was "absolutely impossible to prove" as a practical matter. He added: "As a matter of principle, if these are consenting adults, why should it carry a jail term?"

While considered a sin by certain religions, it could be accorded similar treatment to adultery and fornication, which are not crimes under the law, he said, adding: "If it is a sin, it is between you and God."

NUS Centre for International Law chairman Tommy Koh agreed that the provision should in principle be done without, but said abolishing it was "not so simple" given potential political pushback.

A majority of Singaporeans were against a repeal going by opinion polls, Prof Koh said.

"The compromise is a law in the book, but Singapore will not enforce that law," he said, adding that the Government's difficulty in balancing opposing opinions "should not be underestimated".

The panel at the two-hour forum titled Are Human Rights Truly Universal? also included Ms Braema Mathi, president of human rights group Maruah, and Mr Bernhard Faustenhammer, who heads the political, press and information section of the European Union delegation to Singapore.

They concurred that the idea of human rights is universal, but its application hinges on local contexts, such as culture and history.

Ms Mathi cited the example of Brunei's recent passing of the hudud law, an Islamic penal code that calls for death by stoning for adultery, which she said appears to contradict both regional and global human rights declarations.

- The Straits Times


Man jailed 10 months for underage sex

A man who had sex with a 13-year-old girl he befriended through Facebook was jailed for 10 months on Wednesday.

Syahrul Mohd Hanafiah, 25, whose occupation is not known, admitted to having sex with the girl at an unknown hotel in Geylang in 2011. He was 21 then.

A district court heard that sometime in the beginning of that year, the victim got to know Syahrul, who used the nickname "Shah Rulzz" through the social networking site. They began chatting and later became a "Facebook couple''.

Sometime before May that year - before her 14th birthday - they met for the first time at Compass Point.

Syahrul then took the victim on his motorcycle to a hotel in Geylang where he had unprotected sex with her.

He did not meet her again after that. They subsequently ceased contact.

The victim's father lodged a police report in March 2012 after his daughter's counsellor had told him to do so, stating that she had engaged in underage sex.

Syahrul could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined for having sex with a person below 16 years old.

- The Straits Times

Man jailed for molesting daughter's friend who was staying overnight at his home

A 27-year-old woman, who was wearing a neck brace, was unable to move her head away when her friend's father forcibly kissed her.

The woman was staying the night at a friend's house and was watching a movie on a tablet computer with her friend's 57-year-old father while her friend was asleep.

The unemployed man was jailed for nine months on Tuesday for molest. Sim Joo Beng, 57, admitted to using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the woman by stroking her head down to her buttock area, hugging her and placing his hands on her chest, and forcibly kissing her three times.

A district court heard that the victim went to stay overnight at her friend's flat on July 12 last year. Just after midnight, Sim and the victim were watching a movie on a tablet computer at the balcony of the unit.

He switched off the balcony lights and sat closer to the victim. He asked her about her past relationships. When she confided in him, Sim used his hand to stroke her. She moved away from him. He then asked her to stand by the window, claiming that he would teach her how to relax by looking at the scenery.

When the victim turned to face the balcony, he suddenly hugged her from behind and placed his hands on her breasts. She felt a pinching sensation.

She broke free and Sim then forcibly kissed her three times on the lips. She was unable to move her head away as she was wearing a neck brace due to neck injuries.

She heard her friend waking up and told Sim so. She said she wanted to sleep and was allowed to leave the balcony. The victim told her friend about her encounter. Her friend subsequently sent her home. She lodged a police report two days later.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Jason Chua cited aggravating factors such as Sim's position of trust and authority, intrusion of private parts and wrongful restraint. He said the victim was extremely traumatised and inflicted injuries on herself and is seeking treatment at the Institute of Mental Health.

Sim could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50.

- The Straits Times


Schizophrenic who barged into woman's hotel room in bid to rape her given treatment order

A schizophrenic man who barged into a woman's hotel room with the intent to rape her was given a mandatory treatment order on Friday.

A court heard how Zainal Ariffin Selamat, 38, suffered a relapse of his mental condition at Marina Bay Sands Hotel on Christmas Day last year.

Jobless Ariffin had been wandering aimlessly in the lobby when he saw the 28-year-old woman carrying her luggage to her room.

He followed her into a lift and offered to carry it for her but when he followed her out of it she became suspicious and walked quickly ahead.

When she opened the door of her room Ariffin rushed towards her, grabbed her hands then pushed her into the room.

She screamed for her boyfriend, who was in the bathroom, and Ariffin fled but the boyfriend caught up with him and detained him in the corridor.

After police arrived, Ariffin admitted that he intended to have sex with the woman and would have persisted even if she was unwilling.

Police seized condoms, a vibrator and other sex toys from a plastic bag he had been carrying.

Ariffin admitted house-trespass and was given a two-year mandatory treatment order. His wife signed a $5,000 bond to ensure that he complies with its requirements .

The maximum penalty for the offence is two years' jail and a fine.

- The Straits Times


Signs that a teenager is hooked on online porn: Tips for parents and teens

One in two teens in Singapore have watched or read pornographic materials, a poll of 836 students aged 13 to 15 has found, with some as young as seven when first exposed to such content.
According to Touch Cyber Wellness, the main agency that gives online safety talks in schools in Singapore, these are a few signs that your teenager is hooked on pornography and tips on what you can do to help him or her. Teenagers, you can also take steps to protect yourselves.
1. Signs of addiction to online pornography
- Your child becomes restless, irritable or moody when interrupted or unable to continue using the computer. He constantly plans when he can next use the computer.
- Your teen’s school work may be affected because he is spending significant time online.
- They become more withdrawn as some may feel guilty or ashamed of themselves due to their secret pornographic viewing habits.
2. Tips for parents: How to try and prevent or stop children from accessing porn online
- Monitor your children’s online activity by using parental control software or checking their internet browsing history. Filters can sift out any adult content from the search results by scanning key words or links.
- Create an environment where your teens can to talk to you comfortably and voluntarily about their online activities. One way is to let them know that they can talk to you freely is reassuring them that you will not take away their privileges to go online.
- If your children still do not feel comfortable speaking with you about this matter, urge them to talk to a close relative or school counsellors. Get feedback from these adults later so that you can take precautionary measures at home.
3. Tips for teenagers: How you can protect yourself
- Tell your friends not to send any pornographic materials to you.
- Refrain from participating in lewd exchanges with friends.
- Delete all pornographic materials immediately.
- Move your computer and surf the Internet in a common area such as the living room.
- Subscribe to filtering services or softwares
- Confide in a trusted adult (parents/teachers/school counsellors) on what you do with the computer.
- The Straits Times


Youth, 20, pleads guilty to rape, wrongful confinement of 13-year-old girl

A 20-year-old youth, after going absent without leave from national service, tricked a 13-year-old girl to his flat, locked her in and tried all ways and means to get her to have sex with him.

He offered her money, pinned her down on the bed, punched her on the head and threatened her with a knife.

The girl finally relented when she felt she had no choice but to have sex with him so that she could go home.

On Friday, the youth pleaded guilty to aggravated rape, wrongful confinement, criminal intimidation and causing hurt to the girl.

He also pleaded guilty to three other charges of sex with a minor, which involved other girls, who were aged 13 and 14 at the time. One of the girls, who became pregnant and underwent an abortion, is still his girlfriend.

The prosecution asked for the youth to be sentenced to 12 years' jail and 12 strokes of the cane but his lawyer asked for him to be sent for reformative training, which can last for between 18 months and three years.

Sentencing was adjourned as the High Court called for a pre-sentencing report to determine if he was suitable for reformative training.

- The New Paper


Man jailed for lewd SMSes to real estate agents

A CLEANER sent lewd and insulting text messages to female real estate agents whose numbers he took from the property section of newspapers.

Between 2010 and last year, Sim Eng Peng, 41, sent the messages from his mobile phones to insult the modesty of 11 victims.

He committed the offences in the last six of the 40 charges against three women while on bail for similar offences. The victims were aged 23 to 47.

Yesterday, Sim, now unemployed, was jailed for six weeks on each of the six charges that were proceeded with. The rest were taken into consideration.

District Judge Christopher Goh ordered that three of the sentences run consecutively, which means a total effective sentence of 18 weeks. He took into account Sim's mild intellectual disability and low IQ.

"I also have to note that he actually took care to change his SIM card to avoid detection. He has an antecedent, exactly the same, and that occurred a year before he committed this offence," the judge said.

The court heard that one of the victims in the proceeded charges, a 47-year-old real estate agent, reported to the police in April 2011 that she had been receiving SMSes from an unknown sender who introduced himself as Alan and gave his home address.

"SMSes are telling me to provide some sex services to him..." she said. She also gave the three numbers used to send the messages.

Sim, who said through his lawyer that he regretted the offence, could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined on each charge of insulting modesty.

- The Straits Times

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