- POSTED: 04 Oct 2013 15:28
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An assistant pastor who had oral sex with a 15-year-old church-goer has been sentenced to 16 months' jail.
SINGAPORE: An assistant pastor who had oral sex with a 15-year-old church-goer has been sentenced to 16 months jail.
The 46-year-old, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, admitted to having the girl -- who was 15-years old at the time of the acts -- perform oral sex on him on two occasions.
The first was at a park along Bartley Road between end-September and early-October 2011. Then again in mid-October 2011 at the fourth level of the church, located in central Singapore. A third charge was taken into consideration.
At the time of the offences, the father-of-three was planning programmes for church members, among other administrative duties.
He met the girl in 2010 in the course of organising activities for the church's youth members. They got closer after an overseas mission to Myanmar.
The pastor started contacting the girl via calls, explicit emails and mobile texts -- where he would ask her for sex and said he loved her.
The court heard how he initiated the oral sex at the park and the victim pushed him away after a few seconds.
Court documents showed that the accused asked the girl to help him out at the church with some chores. He brought the girl to the fourth level to have oral sex, while the other pastors were on the ground floor.
The victim only made a report after realising what he had done was wrong.
In its submissions, the prosecution said the accused was 29 years older than the girl.
Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said the pastor not only abused his authority and the trust placed in him, but his actions also undermined the public's trust in the church. Mr Ng pointed out that the girl was "nothing more than a sexual plaything" to the accused, and that there was a certain degree of "moral corruption" involved.
The fact that the act was performed within the church is also an aggravating factor. Thus, Mr Ng urged for a range of 12 to 20 months jail per charge.
However, the defence argued that the pastor's judgement was impaired because of his work and personal environment. Lawyer Wee Pan Lee said circumstances led to him being in a depressed mood and addicted to sex. These conditions, he said, were untreated.
Mr Wee asked for a jail term of between 10 and 15 months per charge, since his client was a first offender.
The accused, who last worked as a hourly-paid dishwasher, could have been jailed up to 10 years, fined, and caned on each count.