SINGAPORE: An honorary officer in the National Police Cadet Corps (NPCC) was sentenced to 10 months in jail and one stroke of the cane on Thursday (Jun 23) for committing sex offences against two teenage boys.
He pleaded guilty to one charge each of committing an obscene act with a child under 16 and outrage of modesty.
Another six similar charges, including for offences against two more teenage victims, were considered for sentencing.
The identities of the victims and the offender are protected by a gag order. The offender's age was also redacted from court documents.
An honorary officer is an adult leader deployed to help teacher officers train NPCC cadets in school, according to the Singapore Police Force website. They receive training at the Home Team Academy.
As an honorary officer, the offender's rank in the school's NPCC unit was second only to the teacher officers. The two victims reported to him.
The court heard that in 2016, the first victim, identified as A2 in court documents, was a member of the NPCC unit.
In June that year, the offender was driving A2 from his home to school for an NPCC activity in the morning.
When they arrived too early and were unable to enter the school, the offender drove to a car park near the boy's house. He then moved to the rear passenger seat, sat next to A2 and touched the boy's private parts.
A2 felt uncomfortable and did not consent to being touched, but was too afraid to resist as the offender was in a position of authority over him, court documents stated.
The second victim, identified as A1, worked closely with the offender and would go to his home multiple times a week in 2017. They would discuss NPCC-related matters in the man's bedroom or watch movies together.
Over time, the offender became more physically intimate with A1, progressing from holding his hand to kissing his cheek.
The offender told A1 that he was being physical in order to "break the barrier" between them, court documents stated.
A1 was uncomfortable with these advances but would kiss the offender's cheek as he felt pressured to do so.
This progressed until the offender started touching A1's private parts in his bedroom, without the boy's consent. He did this on five occasions in 2017, up to July that year.
On Jul 20, 2017, the principal of the school made a police report on the offender's behaviour.
The prosecution sought a jail term of 10 months to a year, arguing that the offender had a pattern of abusing his authority as a superior officer to make physical advances on his subordinates.
The penalty for outrage of modesty is up to two years' jail, a fine, caning or any combination of these punishments.
The punishment for committing an obscene act with a child or young person is up to five years' jail, a fine of up to S$10,000 or both for a first-time offender.
Repeat offenders can be jailed for up to seven years, fined up to S$20,000 or both.