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The Straits Times
December 16, 2021
He was still a teenager when he molested three girls and sexually penetrated four minors.
Separately, the Singaporean youth, who turned 20 in August this year, asked his eighth victim, a 12-year-old girl, to send him her nude photographs.
The eight girls were between 12 and 17 at the time of the offences.
The offender pleaded guilty on Thursday (Dec 16) to four counts of sexual penetration involving three girls who were then minors.
Eleven other charges, including those linked to the other five victims, will be considered during sentencing. One of these five girls was also sexually penetrated when she was a minor.
The youth, who committed the offences in 2018 and 2019, cannot be named due to a gag order.
In early 2018, he went on social media platform Instagram and sent his first victim, then 14, a message. They began exchanging flirtatious messages.
They met for the first time in April that year and later had unprotected sex in her home.
They did not meet again and stopped texting each other.
He also got to know his second victim, then 14, via Instagram. They met at Downtown East shopping mall in Pasir Ris to watch a movie on Aug 7, 2018.
After that, they went to a staircase landing at a nearby block of flats and had safe sex.
The following month, the girl went to his home and they had unprotected sex.
Sometime in August 2019, the offender tapped Instagram again to message a 15-year-old who later became his girlfriend.
He took her to his home later that month and she performed oral sex on him.
On another occasion in August 2019, she did the same act again in a toilet. The pair broke up soon after.
The court heard that all three girls alerted the police only last year. Court documents do not disclose what spurred them to do so.
On Thursday, defence lawyer Riko Isaac told the court that his client was still a teenager at the time of the offences and "did not have sufficient maturity to understand" their gravity.
District Judge Kessler Soh called for reports to assess the offender's suitability for both probation and reformative training.
Offenders given the latter are detained in a centre and made to follow a strict regimen that includes foot drills and counselling.
He is expected to be sentenced in February next year.