Terence Ng Kean Meng, 43, has been sentenced to 14 years’ jail and 14 strokes of the cane Wednesday (May 27) for two counts of raping a 13-year-old schoolgirl and sexually penetrating her with his finger.
Two other charges were taken into consideration. The victim cannot be named as she is a minor.
Ng, a divorcee who owns a makeshift cobbler stall near Commonwealth MRT, first noticed the victim when she was loitering near his stall in October 2013.
After finding out that she had run away from home, he offered to take care for her as her godfather. He even went to the victim’s house to convince her then-ill mother to let him take care of the schoolgirl.
Although Ng’s defence lawyer Subir Singh Grewal said that the relationship between Ng and the victim started out as a platonic one, the prosecution led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Vikneswaran S/O Kumaran accused Ng of developing an attraction for the victim and having sexual thoughts about her.
Ng then proceeded to have consensual sex with the victim three times in the next five weeks after they first met.
On one occasion, Ng brought the victim to his flat. After the victim complained of stomach problems, Ng placed some ointment on her stomach. After she said she was feeling better from the ointment, Ng asked her if she wanted to have sexual intercourse. She said yes, and he proceeded to insert his finger into her vagina.
In this instance, Ng committed digital penetration on a minor, which is a form of sexual penetration.
Shortly after the instances of consensual sex, the victim’s mother died and the 13-year-old confided about Ng’s actions to someone at school. She was told to file a police report, and Ng was arrested four days after she did so.
Under Section 375 of the Penal Code, any man who has sexual intercourse with a woman under 14 years of age is liable to be convicted with statutory rape, with or without the woman’s consent.
A psychiatric report by Dr Jason Lee Kim Huat found Ng to not be suffering from any mental illness or intellectual disability. However, Ng’s defence said that the accused only had Primary 6 educational qualifications.
Ng’s mother filed a statement, saying that he was filial and helped to provide for the family, although he had lacked proper education. She said a psychiatric evaluation when Ng was 7 years old revealed he was behind his peers in terms of physical and mental development. However, the family did not have enough money to help rehabilitate Ng.
The defence also argued that there was no report indicating that the accused had paedophilic tendencies or that the victim had suffered any psychological trauma.
Ng could have been jailed for up to 20 years and liable to a fine or caning for each charge of statutory rape with a girl under the age of 14.