SINGAPORE: A repeat sex offender who held weekly meetings with four underage girls and set up a roster for sex acts with them was sentenced on Thursday (Apr 2) to 10 years’ corrective training and eight strokes of the cane.
Corrective training is a separate regime from imprisonment, usually imposed on repeat offenders. There is no early release for corrective training.
Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident Simon Wong Choy Chuan, 32, had pleaded guilty in February to four charges of sexual penetration of a minor, with another 24 charges taken into consideration.
Wong had been committing similar offences since he was 19, and was convicted in 2013 of more than 10 charges of sexual penetration of a minor, against five teenage victims.
He met the first victim in the current case, a 15-year-old girl, through a mutual friend on Facebook in August 2017.
Through her, he got to know the other three victims, who were 13 or 14 at the time.
He lied to them that he was only 19 and second-in-command in a gang. He knew the girls were gullible and wanted them to fear him.
He then made them pay him S$10 daily in gang membership fees for protection against school bullies and made the first victim teach her friends how to carry out sex acts.
Wong also claimed to have clairvoyant abilities, predicting that ill fortune would befall the fourth victim if the second victim did not fellate and masturbate him.
He came up with a weekly roster for the victims to perform sexual acts on him, and held gang meetings at least once a week at void decks or multistorey car parks.
The third victim, who was then 13, stopped going for the meetings after being made to perform a sex act on Wong at a car park in January 2018.
She made a police report a month later as Wong kept calling her and asking her to attend gang meetings.
The police arrested Wong, and the victims were taken to the Child Guidance Clinic for psychiatric assessment.
The second victim failed nearly all her subjects in 2018, purportedly from stress due to the police case.
She blamed herself for the incidents and realised the acts were wrong only after receiving sex education in school, and became distressed and had suicidal thoughts.
An intellectual assessment also found that the first victim was “functioning in the extremely low range of intelligence”, while the second and third victims were in the low average range. This added to their vulnerability as victims, the prosecution said.
Wong’s lawyer had said in his defence that the case was fairly egregious and “not something easy to mitigate for”.
Wong had written a mitigation letter asking the court not to revoke his permanent residency, but ICA said in a statement after the guilty plea was taken in February that Wong’s PR status was revoked in 2018.