Man gets jail for getting 15-year-old girl to use sex toy on him, sending instruction videos
SINGAPORE: A 56-year-old man met a 15-year-old girl online and arranged to meet her for sexual activities in exchange for money.
The girl lodged a police report after accepting S$250 from the man in exchange for performing a sex act on him with a sex toy.
P Asokan Pappu Pachan, now 57, was sentenced to 10 months and four weeks' jail on Friday (Nov 12).
He pleaded guilty to a charge each of causing a minor to sexually penetrate him with a sex toy and of sending her obscene films on Telegram.
Another two charges of possessing obscene films and sexual penetration of a minor were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Asokan came to know the 15-year-old student on a chat application. He asked her if she was willing to provide sexual services in return for money.
They later shifted their conversation to Telegram, where Asokan offered to pay the girl S$250 if she was willing to use a sex toy on him.
While discussing this, he sent her four obscene films depicting a woman in a similar situation, as he wanted to show her how he wanted the act performed.
"Enticed by the monetary reward, the victim accepted the offer," said the prosecutor.
She complied with Asokan's request for a photo of herself, with a close-up of her face, and Asokan said he would book a hotel.
He asked the victim if she was working or schooling. When the victim said she was studying, Asokan replied that they would have to be "very discreet".
On Sep 1, 2020, Asokan met the victim and they tried to enter two hotels. However, they were unable to get a room at both places, as they could not present the victim's NRIC.
The victim then suggested going to Asokan's house, and he agreed, handing her money for a Grab ride to his place while he rode his motorcycle home.
They got to his home where they engaged in sexual activities, including with the sex toy.
Afterwards, Asokan passed the girl S$250 and she left. Later that same day, she lodged a police report saying she was paid for sexual activities.
LAW DESIGNED TO PROTECT MINORS: PROSECUTION
The prosecutor sought at least 11 to 13 months' jail, saying that the victim was 14. By virtue of her young age and "inexperience in life", sentencing principles for such minors are protective, she said.
There was a large age gap of 41 years between the offender and the victim, and the victim's consent here "is irrelevant as the law was designed to protect minors due to their immaturity", she said.
Asokan should have known better by virtue of his age, but did not exercise due diligence to verify if the victim was of legal age, said the prosecutor.
Defence lawyer Azri Imran Tan of IRB Law asked instead for not more than 10 months' jail, saying his client "deeply regrets his actions".
"The point that the defence wishes to make is that we disagree with the characterisation by the prosecution that my client exploited the victim, and that the victim was young and vulnerable and somehow preyed upon," he said.
HE WAS A LONELY BACHELOR SEEKING INTIMACY: DEFENCE
"My client did not deliberately seek out minors on the app for sexual gratification or conduct," said Mr Tan.
"On the contrary, as an aged, unmarried bachelor, he was lonely and seeking intimacy. At best, this was a case where he gave in to lust and temptation."
He said Asokan did ask how old the victim was, and claimed that she said she was "almost 18". When they met in person about a month later, Asokan was "under the mistaken belief" that she was already 18, Mr Tan said.
He agreed that the consent of the minor was not relevant, but said there was nothing in the facts to suggest the victim was "extra vulnerable" as to draw a higher sentence.
"As per the statement of facts, even after being rebuffed twice by two hotels, it was the victim who suggested to my client that they go back to his HDB flat," said the lawyer.
The obscene films had been shown to her to suggest how the sex act should have taken place, he added.
He asked for leniency, saying Asokan had a stroke this year and has other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
He said his client had "genuinely made a mistake", "overcome by a human need for intimacy" and would never repeat the offence again.
However, the prosecutor responded that investigations did not show that the victim told Asokan she was almost 18. Asokan could have asked for her NRIC, added the prosecutor.
The judge allowed Asokan to begin his jail term in December, so he can serve out his notice period at work and sort out matters relating to his property as he lives alone.