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18-year-old nabbed for multiple sexual offences against 10 girls after victims exposed him on Twitter

SINGAPORE — While in secondary school, a teenager sexually assaulted at least 10 underaged girls he had met in school, through mutual friends or on social media.

18-year-old nabbed for multiple sexual offences against 10 girls after victims exposed him on Twitter
One victim started a Twitter thread, which has since been taken down, to expose a youth who sexually assaulted her.
  • A teenager was aged between 14 and 16 when he sexually assaulted underaged girls
  • He met the victims in school, through mutual friends or social media
  • Several of them publicly shared how they had been assaulted by him on Twitter in 2020, leading to his arrest
  • A judge called for a report to assess if he is suitable for reformative training

SINGAPORE — While in secondary school, a teenager sexually assaulted at least 10 underaged girls he had met in school, through mutual friends or on social media.

His offences surfaced in June 2020 when several victims agreed to share their personal accounts in a public Twitter thread.

The thread was created by a 17-year-old girl, who posted a photo of the accused with the caption: “A rapist requested to follow me on Instagram, should I expose what he did to me?”

The thread has since been shut down.

On Thursday (Feb 24), the accused, who is now aged 18 and cannot be named due to a court order to protect his victims’ identities, pleaded guilty to four counts of sexual penetration of a minor.

Twenty-nine other similar charges, including molestation and sexual exploitation of a child or young person, will be taken into consideration for sentencing next month.

Court records showed that some of his charges were reclassified from rape to sexual penetration.

Given his young age, District Judge Kessler Soh called for a report to assess if he is suitable for reformative training — a regimented rehabilitation programme for offenders under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.

WHAT HAPPENED

The court heard that the youth targeted 10 female minors over the course of two-and-a-half years from July 2017 to February 2020. The victims were aged 12 to 16 at the time, while he was aged between 14 and 16.

He would ask them to visit him at his flat or secluded places near his home and then sexually assault them when they were alone.

One such girl met him in 2017 when she was 12 years old and he was 14.

They began messaging each other on Instagram and she then developed romantic feelings for him.

In June 2018, he invited her to his flat and took her to a ninth-floor staircase before asking to have sex with her. Thinking he considered her as his girlfriend, she agreed.

It was her first sexual encounter and the pair then began engaging in regular sexual intercourse at his behest at least once a month.

Another victim met him on Instagram in 2019 when she was 15 and he was about 16.

He suggested that she go over to his flat to study together, where he sexually assaulted her without a condom.

After the victim saw the Twitter thread and made a police report, she went to the child guidance clinic at the Institute of Mental Health where she reported feeling sad, irritable and fearful since the incident.

She suffered from insomnia, appetite loss and suicidal thoughts, hurting herself and overdosing on her antidepressant medication.

She also reported doing more poorly in her studies and said that she felt ashamed about her body, felt hopeless, lacked motivation and lost interest in activities that she used to enjoy.

The victim was diagnosed with depression and post-traumatic stress disorder.

In June 2020, the 17-year-old who had created the Twitter thread posted about the accused because he had asked to “follow” her personal account on Instagram.

Many other victims then reached out to her privately. She asked them for their consent to put their accounts on her Twitter thread for public viewing, and it then gained some traction on social media.

The youth was arrested on June 27, 2020 after the victims filed police reports against him. He has been in remand since.

In mitigation, his lawyer Hashim Siraj said that his mother was incarcerated for a long period of time and was not present during most of his childhood.

His addiction to pornography at a very young age might have led to the desire to commit the offences, the defence counsel added.

Those convicted of sexual penetration of a minor under 14 can be jailed for up to 20 years, as well as fined or caned.

Those convicted of sexual penetration of a minor under 16 can be jailed for up to 10 years or fined, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime sexual assault molest underage sex teenager pornography social media

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