SINGAPORE: After meeting a 13-year-old girl at a cosplay event, a 20-year-old man committed an indecent act on the minor at a mall toilet after tying her up and handcuffing her.
Alaric Lim Qixian, who was a full-time national serviceman with the Singapore Civil Defence Force at the time, pleaded guilty on Monday (Sep 28) to one charge of committing an indecent act with a child.
He also admitted to two other charges of taking upskirt videos of women, which were discovered after his arrest for the first offence.
The court heard that Lim met the victim at a cosplay event and began chatting on Instagram. Lim claimed he was a photographer and offered to conduct a private shoot for her, sending her a few examples of women in scanty clothing.
The victim, who was 13, refused this offer but said she would be interested to take part in a private photoshoot involving "bondages and stuff", said the prosecutor.
The victim later agreed to try a photoshoot but clarified that she was unwilling to be fully naked. Lim suggested tying a rope harness on her and offered to provide various props, before suggesting a "test run" at a toilet for the disabled in a shopping mall.
They met at about 5.30pm on May 22 last year at Plaza Singapura, before going to a toilet for the disabled and spending about 15 minutes playing a mobile phone game.
After this, Lim tied a rope harness over the victim's clothing. He then used a blindfold and handcuffs on her.
He proceeded to molest her and the girl told him to stop. The victim felt "shocked and disgusted" by what he was doing to her, but did not shout for help as she was afraid he would harm her further.
After about 15 minutes, Lim removed the blindfold, handcuffs and rope from the victim. The victim took a bus home and took a shower immediately, feeling "very disgusted".
She told her mother what had happened and they lodged a police report the next day. Lim was later arrested and an examination of his phone uncovered three upskirt videos he had recorded at a train station in January 2018.
Lim's lawyers said Lim was "not aroused by this act of cosplay activity", adding that his "intentions were not to take advantage of the victim but purely playing out what parties intended".
"The accused has since learnt that there is a distinction between the cosplay mode of activity and (the) actual world," said Mr Richard Lim and Ms Lolita Andrew.
Lim is remorseful and has no previous convictions, they added.
The judge called for reports to assess his suitability for probation and reformative training, and adjourned sentencing to November.
For an indecent act with a child, Lim could be jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both. For each charge of insulting a woman's modesty, he could be jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.