Jail and fine for man who posed as agent for 'sugar daddies' to lure 11 women into sex acts
SINGAPORE: A man who posed as an agent for wealthy "sugar daddies" and tricked 11 women into carrying out sex acts with him under the guise of testing them was given three-and-a-half years' jail and a S$20,000 fine on Tuesday (Apr 20).
De Beers Wong Tian Jun, 39, pleaded guilty last month to 10 charges including cheating, criminal intimidation and possession of obscene photos for circulation. Another 26 charges were considered in sentencing.
District Judge John Ng said this case was mostly about cheating for sex.
"The deception and exploitation of the 11 female victims to gratify the sexual desires of the offender with an elaborate and well-executed plan over 10 months make such offences particularly deserving of punishment," he said.
Wong had devised a scheme in 2015 to advertise for "sugar babes", paid escorts who provided sexual services to "sugar daddies" in exchange for money, after wanting to have paid sex but not being able to afford listed prices.
He put up ads posing as a freelance agent who connected such escorts to well-to-do clients, promising payments of between S$8,000 and S$20,000 a month.
Between April 2015 and January 2016, at least 11 women aged between 18 and 24 fell for the scheme. Wong would tell them to first send their nude photos to him for vetting or to engage in sexual acts with him so his clients could "evaluate" them.
In reality, Wong had no such clients and was lying so he could have sex with the women without paying them. After obtaining nude photos of the women or filming his acts with them, Wong threatened them with dissemination if they did not continue to have sex with him.
All the women suffered mental anguish after their encounters with Wong, with some having recurring nightmares and others experiencing fear, anxiety and paranoia that he would leak their intimate pictures or videos.
One woman, who was 24, experienced anxiety attacks and crying bouts as well as shortness of breath, headaches, nausea and giddiness.
She also began having sleeping problems and nightmares, and avoided going near the hotel where she had met Wong. She was later diagnosed with adjustment disorder with anxiety.
The woman begged Wong to delete the nude photos he had of her. At first he said he had deleted them but later he said he would do so only if she provided him with more sexual services.
When the woman told Wong that she was doing him a favour by not going to the police, he replied: "Now I have to pass your photos to my friends. In case anything happen(s) to me they will use the photos as they wish."
The woman lodged a police report against him a few days later.
The prosecution had called for at least 30 months' jail, while the defence said Wong had been diagnosed with adjustment disorder that affected his capability to make decisions and was remorseful.
Judge Ng said the key issue in the case was how the jail terms would be served. Both the defence and prosecution had asked for three to run one after the other. However, the judge said seven of the nine imprisonment terms should run consecutively as there were seven victims in the proceeded charges.
However, this would result in a total jail term of 57 months, which would infringe the second limb of the totality principle, which considers if a sentence is "crushing" on an accused.
"In this case, Mr Wong has no criminal antecedents and is remorseful. A sentence of 57 months or four years and nine months might be seen as crushing and not in keeping with his clean record," said Judge Ng.
He said having five of the nine jail terms run consecutively would properly reflect Wong's criminality.
The judge granted Wong's request for a deferment to settle his affairs.
Editor's note: This article has been updated with a change to the size of the fine given to the accused following clarification by the Attorney-General's Chambers.