A paedophile who posed as a therapist to defraud the parents of his victims has been sentenced to 45 years in prison for sexually abusing up to eight children with learning disabilities or disabilities for over 16 years. This is one of the worst sexual assault cases in Singapore’s history.
High Court Judge Ang Cheng Hock described the crime committed by the 54-year-old defendant as “extremely perverted” in his sentencing on June 27. Prosecutors also called it “one of the worst cases of pedophile sexual abuse in the local courts”.
The assaults on the little children took place between 2002 and 2018. The victims included seven girls and one boy, aged between five and 13. The crimes took place at the homes of the victims and defendants, and in public places like shopping malls and toilets.
The accused faces a total of 86 counts of aggravated rape, attempted aggravated rape, sexual assault, indecent assault and contravention of the Films Act. He pleaded guilty to six counts of aggravated rape and the judge will took the remaining counts into account when sentencing.
The man’s offences came to light only by accident in 2018 when a woman bought his old laptop. Several obscene photos and videos, showing him sexually assaulting the victims, were automatically imported from a cloud drive into the laptop.
On June 3, 2018, a 40-year-old Filipino woman bought his laptop for S$280 and collected it from him at Admiralty MRT Station. The buyer of his laptop immediately lodged a report with the police. The police officers arrested him on the evening of June 11 that year. They found more obscene photos and videos of the assaults, as well as two pairs of children’s underwear belonging to one of the victims. He possessed at least 3,253 obscene films, court documents showed.
The defendant pleaded with the judge to express his deep regret for his crime and apologised to all the victims. To protect the victims, the court ordered the media not to report information on the identities of the victims and defendants.
The court heard that between 2005 and May 2018, he worked part-time as a tutor. To the parents of some victims, he misrepresented himself as a qualified educational therapist with a graduate diploma in psychology, as well as a diploma in learning disorders management and child psychology.
Prosecutors told the court that he gave tuition to “gain access to a ready pool of children”, including children with disabilities. When he was arrested on June 11, 2018, he was not formally employed anywhere but worked ad-hoc as a tutor for children, including those with special needs.
The court further heard that he had a history of watching pornography, including child sexual abuse material, on the internet. Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Ong told the court: “Some of his offences were committed after he had watched a mixture of Japanese adult and child pornography, gotten aroused, and thereby decided to satiate his lust upon the victims. ”
One of the pedophile’s victims, identified as V1, had to undergo speech therapy at KK Women`s and Children`s Hospital when she was four years old. In another case, the man grew very involved in the family`s personal lives between 2006 and 2009. He financially provided for them, helping to care for the boy and his sister when their mother had to work part-time or work the night shift. And when the family moved into his Woodlands flat, he repeatedly raped or assaulted the children for several years until he broke up with their mother in 2015.
The convict will be 80 if he is released from prison upon being granted one-third remission for good behaviour. For each offence of aggravated rape, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned. Those aged 50 or above cannot be caned under Singapore law.