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Man jailed 10 months for sex with underage girl

A gynaecologist who had sex with a minor even though he knew she was more than 40 years his junior when he met her for the first time, was sentenced to 10 months in jail on Wednesday.

SINGAPORE: A gynaecologist who had sex with a minor even though he knew she was more than 40 years his junior when he met her for the first time, was sentenced to 10 months in jail on Wednesday.

63-year-old Ong Theng Kiat pleaded guilty last October to two charges of having sex with a minor and agreed to have 11 other charges that included oral sex, taken into consideration.

Ong pleaded guilty on Wednesday to one other charge of breaching the Medical Registration Act by giving a false declaration in order to obtain a medical practising certificate on 31 July last year. He was fined S$4,000 for this.

Previously, the court heard that Ong, now a grandfather, got to know the girl in 2011 through a dating website -- when she was 14 years old, and he, 61.

She had indicated on her profile on the website that she was 18 as that was the minimum age required to register an account.

Ong sent the girl a lengthy message and the pair then exchanged phone numbers and began texting each other.

It was through these texts that the girl informed Ong that she was 14 years old.

After he had asked her to meet up, the court heard that the pair eventually met four times -- in September 2011 and sometime in early 2012.

The court was told that at their first meeting in September, Ong drove her to Bukit Brown Cemetery, located along Lorong Halwa, where she changed out of her school uniform.

Ong then told the girl that he was 40 years old and that his work was related to stocks.

Later, he took her to a hotel where they had sex. He then asked her to take two morning-after pills.

In early 2012, Ong picked the girl up from school and proceeded to the cemetery, where they had sex in the back seat of his car.

Last October, Ong's lawyers submitted a psychiatric report to the court to show that there was a causal link between his offences and his major depressive disorder.

But prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz argued that there was no causal link.

She had previously highlighted several aggravating factors -- such as the wide age disparity, and the evidence that Ong had intended to engage in sexual activity from the first meeting.

The prosecutor had told the court that Ong had given the girl contraceptives, which would not have been readily available to her and this was done with a clear purpose in mind.

In further mitigation on Wednesday, Ong's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan urged the court to show leniency as the death of Ong's wife had a great impact on him.

He also countered the prosecution's point about giving the girl contraceptives, saying Ong simply did not want the minor to end up with unwanted pregnancy.

District Judge Soh Tze Bian said that regardless of consent, there is a need to deter such cases, given the vulnerability of the girl.

He said the sentencing range for such cases is between 10 and 15 months' jail, and that there was no reason to impose a lower sentence as submitted by the defence.

But the judge added he was prepared to impose a sentence at the lighter end of that range. 

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