Father of three gets 14 years' jail, 24 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting son's friend
SINGAPORE: A foreign executive was sentenced on Friday (Aug 31) to 14 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually assaulting a nine-year-old boy during a Halloween sleepover in 2015.
The 48-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, had claimed trial.
He was found guilty in high court earlier this month of two charges of sexual assault, and one charge of aggravated outrage of modesty of the boy, who was his son's friend.
He had molested the victim after 11pm on Oct 31, 2015, while the boy was sleeping on the upper bunk of a bed in the accused's home.
The man's own son was sleeping on the lower bunk. The father of three sexually assaulted the young boy by performing oral sex on him.
The boy told his father what happened and a police report was made a few days later.
ACCUSED SUFFERED HARDSHIP WHILE IN REMAND: DEFENCE
In court on Friday, the accused's defence lawyer Selva K Naidu described the "hardship" that the man had suffered while in remand, as his bail had been revoked upon his conviction.
He said that the man, who sat in the dock with a neck brace, was admitted to Changi General Hospital for a week for an old spinal injury.
He added that the accused was unable to attend a previous hearing earlier this month for the sentencing as his blood pressure had gone up.
The spinal injury, as well as a related neck injury, stemmed from a 2011 accident when the accused fell from an elephant, Mr Naidu told reporters.
Justice See Kee Oon, in delivering his judgment, said he was "unable to discern any relevant mitigating factors" in the case.
This, despite Mr Naidu's previous argument that the victim could have been hallucinating due to the "scary" nature of Halloween and the amount of candy he consumed.
He also was not persuaded by Mr Naidu's submission that only one offence was committed in respect of two of the charges.
In delivering the sentence for caning, he noted that it was capped at 24 strokes, and addressed the defence's point that the accused may be unfit for caning due to his injuries.
"Should prisons assess that he is unfit to be caned, the matter will be referred to again," said Justice See.
He denied the defence's application for bail pending an appeal, as the accused intends to appeal against conviction.
The man faces another five additional charges in the State Courts relating to another eight-year-old boy, whom he is accused of committing sex-related offences on.