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Singapore

Freelance tutor admits committing sexual offences against boys aged 13 and 15

Freelance tutor admits committing sexual offences against boys aged 13 and 15

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: Calvin Oh)

SINGAPORE: A tutor who sought other men on social media applications for sexual activities preyed on minors instead, meeting a 13-year-old boy on Grindr and persuading a 15-year-old boy into "experimenting" with him.

Chock Soon Seng, 43, pleaded guilty on Monday (Mar 15) to four counts of sexual penetration of a minor. Another 14 charges, including sexual exploitation of a child or young person, will be considered in sentencing.

The court heard that Chock was a freelance tutor teaching Mandarin to students in Primary 5 to Secondary 4 at the time.

Chock started using social media applications such as Grindr and Locanto in 2016 to meet other men for sexual activities. He would initiate conversations and arrange for meetings, periodically deleting the chat logs.

In April 2018, Chock got to know the first victim, a 13-year-old boy, on Grindr. The victim told Chock he was a Primary 6 student, and Chock requested to meet up for sexual activities.

After the pair agreed to perform certain sex acts on each other but not anal sex, Chock met the boy on Apr 15, 2018.

He took the boy to a staircase landing at a multi-storey car park in Hougang, where they engaged in sexual activities. The boy later deleted their Instagram conversation on Chock's instruction. 

Chock persuaded the boy to meet up again, and they met on Apr 17, 2018 after the boy finished school. The boy was in his school uniform and carrying his school bag when they went to Punggol Community Club, where they engaged in sex acts in a toilet.

Because Chock had asked the boy for Higher Chinese test papers during their first encounter, the boy felt annoyed and blocked him after their second meeting, the prosecutors said.

SECOND VICTIM WAS "LOOKING FOR WOMEN"

Chock began preying on a second boy, aged 15, who had posted an advertisement on Locanto saying he was looking for women. Chock responded to his ad, and they began texting, but the boy said he was not interested as he was not homosexual.

Chock persuaded him to experiment, saying it was "normal for straight men to perform sexual acts on each other". He also offered the boy cash, and made no attempts to verify the teen's age.

After persistent persuasion, the boy agreed to meet up. Chock went to his home on Apr 23, 2018, where Chock engaged in sex acts with the boy. The boy was not aroused and did not respond to his advances, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yong.

Chock gave the boy some cash, which was less than what they had agreed on, before leaving. After this, Chock kept pestering the teen to meet again for sexual activities. When the boy said he was not interested, Chock persuaded him by telling him the "feeling would change", and promised him cash.

He met the boy a second time the following month, where he made the boy perform sex acts on him. However, the boy remained unaroused when Chock tried to reciprocate.

He again gave the boy some cash that was less than what they agreed on, before leaving. Subsequently, the teenager ignored Chock and blocked him.

MOTHER OF FIRST VICTIM DISCOVERED OFFENCES

The offences came to light when the first victim's mother found sex-related conversations in his phone. When she contacted her son's school for help, they advised her to make a police report, which she did.

Investigations subsequently uncovered the offences against both victims.

Chock was remanded and an assessment showed he was not suffering from mental illnesses at the time of the offences, nor was he of unsound mind.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chin Jincheng told the court that Chock had previous brushes with the law. He was convicted in 2010 of procuring obscene or indecent acts with a child or young person, and in 2014 of sexual penetration of a minor, among other acts.

Mr Chin asked for a corrective training report for Chock, noting that he was found to have a moderate to high risk of reoffending and "shows no remorse" in engaging in such acts.

The judge called for both corrective training and preventive detention reports and adjourned sentencing to next month.

Corrective training is a separate regime from imprisonment, usually imposed on repeat offenders for up to 14 years, with no early release.

Preventive detention is harsher than corrective training. It places recalcitrant offenders in jail for seven to 20 years in order to protect the public from the offender, with no remission.

Source: CNA/ll(rw)

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