Tutor on trial for using criminal force on boy in Bishan Junction 8 toilet

A freelance tutor yesterday denied molesting a 12-year-old boy in a toilet at a shopping mall popular among students.

Cheng Hoe Huat, 52, is on trial for using criminal force on the boy by touching his private parts in the male toilet on the first floor of Bishan Junction 8 on Nov 13, 2013.

A frequent visitor to the mall, he told the court he would spend almost every weekday there, reading newspapers and the Bible and writing spiritual journals.

Cheng, who uses a walking stick, said he would talk to the boys he meets and make friends with them.

He testified that he came to know a group of madrasah boys by chance that day. The boys approached him while he was seated outside The Coffee Bean & Tea Leaf. He asked them how the madrasah taught sex education compared to other schools.

After they left, he continued with his reading until around 4.30pm or 5pm. Before leaving, he made a trip to the toilet. He denied asking the boy, who was then in Primary 6, to go with him.

Conducting his own defence, Cheng claimed he did not recognise the alleged victim or any of his four friends who were among the 13 prosecution witnesses who testified in court.

The boy, who is now 13, gave his testimony behind closed doors on Wednesday. His father was also among the prosecution witnesses.

The boy lodged a police report at Bishan Neighbourhood Police Centre a day after the alleged incident.

Junction 8 is a popular hangout spot for students from nearby schools, such as Catholic High School and Raffles Institution.

District Judge Lee Poh Choo will give her judgment on May 8. If convicted, Cheng could be jailed for up to five years and/or fined for molesting a person under 14 years old.

No caning is imposed on males above 50.

- The Straits Times

Man charged under new human trafficking act

A 24-year-old Singaporean man was on Thursday charged with trafficking in persons under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.

The is the first case to be prosecuted under the Act since it took effect last month.

According to court documents, the accused, Muhammad Khairulanuar Rohmat, had allegedly recruited a 15-year-old teenager with the purpose of exploiting her last Wednesday afternoon at a Starbucks cafe in Orchard Road.

Later, he supposedly had consensual sex with her at a men's toilet in Cuppage Plaza. For this offence, he faces a second charge of having sex with a minor.

Khairulanuar has been remanded for a week for further investigations. The case will be heard again on April 29.

Under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act, anyone who recruits, transports, transfers, harbours or receives a child for the purpose of exploitation, whether here or abroad, is guilty of an offence.

If convicted for trafficking, Khairulanuar could be fined up to $100,000, jailed up to 10 years and caned a maximum of six strokes. For sexually penetrating a minor, he could be jailed up to 10 years or fined, or both.

- The Straits Times


Canadian accused in home country of raping Singaporean teen

A CANADIAN man has been accused in his home country of raping a Singaporean teenager half his age.

Winnipeg native James Brian Stephenson was 35 when he befriended the 16-year-old in 2012.

The pair had apparently met through an online video game before hitting it off. She visited him in Winnipeg last April.

Six months later, Stephenson was arrested and charged with assaulting the Singaporean. Four more charges were added last month.

Charge sheets obtained by The Straits Times show Stephenson, who is now 37, has been accused of repeatedly assaulting the teen sexually between April 1 and Aug 1 last year. The girl is now 18.

Other charges include luring the teen online for the purpose of child pornography from July 1, 2013, to April 1 last year and possessing and importing child pornography.

Stephenson had told Winnipeg Free Press, a Canadian broadsheet, that he and the Singaporean teen had got "married" in the game they frequented online.

The girl, accompanied by her 49-year-old mother, flew to Winnipeg last April, after she turned 18, to meet him.

It is not known when the duo's relationship began to sour, though Stephenson started posting emotional Facebook updates in August last year.

In his most recent posting, he said he had been victimised and used. Referring to his "wife" and "mother-in-law", he said: "They extorted me and used our marriage and I have been left in tears for the last year."

The Straits Times found several photographs on Stephenson's Facebook page showing him kissing and hugging the teen.

A YouTube video that he uploaded last April shows a simple tea ceremony involving the teen's mother. While she is seated, the teen and Stephenson can be seen taking turns to kneel down to offer tea to her.

The video appears to have been filmed in Stephenson's house in Winnipeg. The teen can be heard saying to her mother: "I'm sorry for all my wrongdoings... and thank you for bringing me up."

Her mother then says: "I hope you have a blissful marriage, a happy one, and a long-lasting one, and have lots and lots of children and grandchildren. Have a rich and (prosperous) life. Be sweet with your husband." She then drinks the tea and hands a red packet to her daughter.

When it is Stephenson's turn to offer tea, he says: "I'd just like to thank you for everything you have done for me and for being so patient. I haven't been the great boy that you really want."

To that, the teen's mother says: "Don't worry, you are good enough. If not, I won't hand her to you. I hope that you can be better at everything. As time (passes) by, you get better."

She also calls on Stephenson to be accommodating to her daughter, who she said was "not perfect", before handing him a red packet. Stephenson and the teen's mother then hug at the end of the tea ceremony.

When The Straits Times visited the teen's home in Singapore last night, her father said he is aware of the criminal charges, but not the details.

He also said the teen and her mother are now in Canada, where the teen is studying.

Stephenson has been granted bail with the condition that he has no contact with the teen or any children under the age of 16.

- The Straits Times


Man threatened to expose sexual relationship with older male teacher, extorted $197,000

A 34-year-old man had a sexual relationship with an older male teacher, and threatened to expose their trysts to the Ministry of Education (MOE) and his partner's school.

Singaporean Vincent Ng allegedly extorted $197,000 in cash and valuables including four Chanel bags and a Rolex watch from the 45-year-old teacher, in exchange for his silence.

Ng was charged in court on Wednesday and faces eight charges of extortion. His victim cannot be named because of a gag order.

Ng allegedly threatened the victim, via text messages, to disclose their sexual relationship to MOE and his school.

He made the threats between September 2013 and March last year.

On Sept 18, 2013, he asked for $37,000 in cash and a gold chain worth about $8,600.

Two days later, he sent another message demanding $70,000 in cash and a Chanel bag with a value of $3,900.

That same month, he demanded more cash and items such as a Rolex watch worth nearly $15,000 and three more Chanel bags on four other occasions. In total, he extorted $197,000 in cash and valuables amounting to about $51,800.

Ng appeared calm as the charges were read out, and told the court he intends to plead guilty but wishes to engage a lawyer for mitigation purposes.

He is out on a $20,000 bail, and his case will be mentioned again on April 20.

If convicted of extortion, he faces a jail term of between two and seven years, and caning.

- The Straits Times

Full-time national serviceman put on probation for having sex with two minors

A full-time national serviceman who had sex with two underage girls was sentenced to 18 months' supervised probation and 150 hours of community service on Wednesday.

Timothy Ong, now 20, had sex with two 13-year-olds between 2011 and 2013.

He was ordered to stay indoors between 10pm and 6am and his parents, who were both in court, also paid a bond of $5,000 to ensure his good behaviour.

In 2011, when Ong was still studying, he had sex with a secondary school student in the bedroom of his house near Upper Bukit Timah Road after meeting her through an online game. They also had sex on one other occasion.

He met the other girl in September 2013 in a similar fashion and they had sex several times over the following months.

The second girl saw messages from the other girl on his mobile and contacted her.

The first girl later told her auntie what had happened and she told the girl's father. He made a police report in May last year. The second victim also made a police report.

Sex with a girl under 16 is a crime even if she gives her consent.

District Judge Mathew Joseph told Ong that the court was prepared to give him a second chance as he was "young and of an impressionable age" when he committed the offences.

Asked if he had anything to say, Ong told him: "I'm sorry for letting my parents down."

- The Straits Times

Jobless man jailed six months for molesting woman in lift

A jobless man who molested a woman in a lift was jailed for six months on Wednesday.

Yew Eng Kiat, 33, who has a long history of psychiatric impairment, pleaded guilty to using criminal force to outrage the 24-year-old's modesty at a Housing Board block in Geylang Bahru on Oct 9 last year.

The court heard that he followed her from a bus stop and got into the lift just as the door was closing. While it was going up, he turned around and touched her breasts.

She pushed him away and used her handbag to cover herself but Yew came towards her again. After a struggle she got out on the 10th floor.

- See more at: http://sph.straitstimes.com/news/singapore/courts-crime/story/jobless-man-jailed-six-months-molesting-woman-lift-20150408#sthash.84zaeRa6.dpuf
The woman told her boyfriend what happened and lodged a police report.

Yew's lawyer Ng Shi Yang, from the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme (Clas) Fellowship, said in his mitigation plea that Yew was diagnosed with chronic paranoid schizophrenia and obsessive compulsive disorder during his national service days in 2005.

He said his client has been receiving treatment and was genuinely remorseful for his actions, adding that the incident has caused him significant anxiety and deep embarrassment. He asked that no caning be imposed on Yew.

Community Court Judge Lim Keng Yeow said he considered it a grave matter, adding that Yew was persistent in attacking the victim. However he noted Yew's health issue and treated it as a mitigating factor.

Yew could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.

- The Straits Times


Construction worker jailed six months for molesting 12-year-old boy

A construction worker who molested a 12-year-old boy in a public toilet was jailed for six months on Wednesday.

Indian national Ravikumar Sathish, 20, admitted using criminal force to outrage the youngster's modesty at a male toilet in Tampines Mall on March 2.

A court heard that the boy had been having dinner with his mother when he went to use the loo.

As he walked out, Sathish bumped into him and grabbed his private parts.

The scared youngster told his mother who called the police.

In his mitigation letter, Sathish said he was his family's sole breadwinner and had an outstanding debt of $7,000 back home.

Pleading for leniency, he said if he was given a fine, his boss would pay for him.

He could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.

- The Straits Times

Man jailed four years for sexually abusing girl, 14

A man who threatened to upload videos of himself having sex with a 14-year-old girl online unless she continued to sleep with him was jailed for a total of four years on Wednesday.

The 27-year-old pleaded guilty to four out of 21 charges.

The man got to know the girl through a traditional dance club in April 2012.

Four months later he moved into her home and slept in the living room with her younger brother, staying for a few months. They then began a sexual relationship.

A district court heard that in April 2013, they had consensual sex on the staircase of a Housing Board block in Jurong West.

On Nov 7 that year the man took the girl to his teenage cousin's flat in Pandan Gardens where he got him to film them having sex.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rachel Ng said the girl was scared but gave in as he was too strong for her. When the man told her to have sex with his cousin she refused, but he shouted and raised his hand as if he was about to slap her.

The cousin - whose case is pending -got onto the bed and did as he was told.

Later the man sent her messages threatening to upload the video clip if she did not have sex with him whenever he wanted it.

Four days later he took her to his cousin's home and abused her again.

The girl eventually made a police report in February last year.

None of the parties can be named for legal reasons.

A doctor from the Child Guidance Clinic said the victim was left feeling sad, fearful, angry and suffering nightmares.

- The Straits Times

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