SINGAPORE: A repeat sex offender preyed on four underage girls between the ages of 13 and 15, holding weekly meetings and coming up with a roster for the girls to perform sexual acts on him.
Three of the girls are exceptionally vulnerable victims as they are in the "low average range of intelligence", while one girl had suicidal thoughts and blames herself for the incidents, saying she was "very dumb".
Malaysian Simon Wong Choy Chuan, 32, pleaded guilty on Monday (Feb 24) to four charges of sexual penetration of a minor, with another 24 charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that Wong, who has been committing similar offences since he was 19, was 30 at the time of the offences and working part-time at his mother's maid agency.
He met the first victim, a 15-year-old girl, through a mutual friend on Facebook in August 2017.
Wong asked the girl to introduce him to more female friends, and the girl introduced him to the other three victims, including her best friend.
Wong lied to the first victim that he was only 21 and began chatting her up, before entering into a romantic relationship with her a month after they got acquainted.
He then sexually exploited the girl by making her masturbate him, fellate him and have sex with him.
ASKED THE FIRST VICTIM TO INTRODUCE HIM TO OTHER GIRLS
Wong met the other three victims - then 13 and 14 - in December 2017. He lied to them that he was 19 and the second in command in a gang.
He did this as he knew they were gullible and wanted them to fear him, so that they would not dare to report him to the police in the future, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling.
Wong also asked all four girls to join his "gang" and pay him S$10 daily in membership fees, in return for protection against bullies at school. In total, he received about S$130 from the girls.
Wong made the first victim teach her friends how to carry out acts of male masturbation and fellatio.
The girl was reluctant at first as she did not want to involve her friends, but complied because she did not want her boyfriend to get angry.
Wong also claimed to have clairvoyant abilities in order to persuade the other three girls to comply with his sexual demands.
For example, he "predicted" that ill fortune would befall the fourth victim if the second victim did not fellate and masturbate him, and the 14-year-old girl agreed while they were at a car park in January 2018.
He also asked the second and fourth victims to be his girlfriends as well.
WEEKLY ROSTER FOR SEX ACTS
As part of his scheme, Wong came up with a weekly roster for the victims to perform sexual acts on him, holding gang meetings at least once a week at void decks or multistorey car parks.
On one occasion in January 2018, Wong held his gang meeting with all four victims at a multistorey car park at Block 351, Canberra Road.
He was playing the Mobile Legends online game with the third victim when he told her she should do "the thing" for him, referring to masturbation.
When the second victim went home, Wong took the remaining three girls to the sixth floor of the car park, where he urged the first victim to teach the third one how to fellate him.
The third victim, who was then only 13, carried out the acts at Wong's request.
A week after this incident, the third victim stopped going for the gang meetings and cut off contact with Wong.
She made a police report on Feb 14, 2018, concerned for her safety as Wong kept calling her, asking her to attend gang meetings.
The police uncovered the offences, and the victims were taken to the Child Guidance Clinic for psychiatric assessment.
EFFECT OF THE OFFENCES ON THE VICTIMS
The second victim was found to have failed nearly all her subjects in 2018, and her mother said that this was due to the stress from the police case.
"She blamed herself for the incidents, saying that she was 'very dumb'," said the prosecutor. "She only realised these acts were wrong after she received sex education in school. She became emotionally distressed and had suicidal thoughts."
The third victim thinks about the incidents sometimes and tries to forget them, and feels "weird" and "not okay" about engaging in sexual acts with Wong.
The fourth victim said she "did not really want to" engage in the sex acts, but did not dare to lodge a police report.
An intellectual assessment also found that the first victim was "functioning in the extremely low range of intelligence", while the second and third victims were in the low average range.
That they were vulnerable victims was one of the aggravating factors raised by prosecutor Ms Chee.
She urged the judge to call for a corrective training suitability report for Wong, saying he had similar convictions since he was 19 in 2007.
WONG'S LIST OF CONVICTIONS
That year, he had consensual sex with his then-15-year-old girlfriend, and was given a year's probation.
When he was 25 in 2013, he was convicted of more than 10 charges of sexual penetration of a minor, against five teenage victims.
He was sentenced to more than six years' jail and six strokes of the cane.
Ms Chee said Wong's modus operandi is quite similar, getting acquainted with the victims through the Internet or mutual acquaintances.
He also lied to them that he was "easily possessed by spirits" and while "possessed", threatened them into performing multiple sex acts on him.
The current offences were committed within two months of his release from prison, said Ms Chee. He was also assessed by the Institute of Mental Health to have a high risk of sexual reoffending.
Defence lawyer Nakoorshah A K said he acknowledged that the case was fairly egregious, and "not something easy to mitigate for".
The only real mitigating point he said he had was that Wong had pleaded guilty and spared the victims the pain of coming to court.
"My instructions are to ask for a regular imprisonment term," said the lawyer.
Wong wrote a letter of mitigation, asking the court not to revoke his permanent residency.
"That's not up to me," said District Judge Christopher Goh. "You are hoping for a short sentence ... The kind of sentence the court will impose will be in the higher range."
The judge called for a corrective training report and adjourned sentencing to Mar 20.
The Immigration and Checkpoints Authority said in a statement on Wednesday that Wong is no longer a Singapore permanent resident.
"ICA had in fact commenced a review of his PR status in 2017 upon his release from imprisonment for offences committed in 2013, and revoked his PR status in 2018," it said.