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The Straits Times
Jan 27, 2023
He joined a WhatsApp chat group meant for fans of a Chinese boy band, obtained the phone numbers of two underage girls in the group and then sexually exploited them.
Apart from exploiting the two girls, who are sisters, Teo Jun How, 21, admitted to committing sexual offences against five other girls.
He pleaded guilty on Friday to nine charges, including four under the Children and Young Persons Act and three for sexual exposure.
District Judge Kessler Soh called for a report to determine Teo’s suitability for probation, but added that he would be inclined to side with the prosecution’s call for a jail sentence.
The sisters created the WhatsApp chat group for fans of the boy band sometime in 2018 or 2019, and more than 20 people, including Teo, joined the group, Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong said in court documents.
Teo obtained the younger sister’s contact details and began sending her private messages. They chatted normally initially, but the girl soon became annoyed with Teo for teasing her, and she blocked him from contacting her on the platform.
Some months later, Teo messaged her on Instagram and asked her to meet him. She initially refused, but Teo persisted and she relented.
Nothing out of the ordinary happened during their first meeting, but when they went to watch a movie a few days later, Teo asked her to perform a sex act on him. She was 11 or 12 years old then.
Despite her refusal, Teo unzipped his trousers and exposed himself.
As she walked out of the cinema in anger, Teo followed her and apologised, offering to take her home. On their way to her home in a taxi, Teo tried to get the girl to touch him again.
Some time in October 2020, Teo contacted the girl, who was 13 by then, and offered her $100 to send him naked photos of herself, but she refused.
He then offered her $150 to expose herself on video, and she agreed to it. During the video call, Teo, who was also exposing himself, recorded the video without the girl’s knowledge.
On Jan 17, 2021, at about 3.30pm, Teo called the older sister, then 15, and asked if she wanted to be friends with him. He kept quiet when she asked who he was before he started moaning and making other sexual noises.
When the girl ended the call, Teo asked her in a message if she wanted to see his penis. She ignored the message. He then told her about his exchange with her sister and sent her a recording of the conversation.
The older sister then spoke to her sister and told their mother about Teo. The mother made a police report.
Teo was arrested in his home on Jan 24, 2021, and officers found a thumb drive containing 502 pornographic videos, 354 of which were related to child abuse.
While he was out on bail, Teo joined a WhatsApp group that was created to let students from a girls’ school talk about their school life.
He found the group through a link on a social media profile page and sent lewd messages to several girls whose numbers he had obtained via the chat.
Teo will return to court on March 10 for sentencing.