39 Year Old Youth Counsellor Jailed Seven Months For Taking Nude Photos Of 12 Year Old Girl

He volunteered by counselling troubled youths. Yet, the 39-year-old preyed on the 12-year-old daughter of a friend, asking her to strip for his camera when she asked him for money.

Today (June 9), District Judge Low Wee Ping sentenced the man, who cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity, to seven months’ jail and chided him.

“I find it ironic that you were once a counsellor for troubled youths, yet you did this to the girl,” said the judge.

District Judge Low also took issue with the defence lawyer for underplaying the severity of the crime. “If you think it is merely taking a naked photo, then you don’t know what you’ve done and what the law is trying to protect,” he said, adding that “sexual exploitation of a child” was a better description of what had transpired.

The court heard that the man was a friend of the victim’s mother, and had on previous occasions given the victim small sums of money ranging from S$2 to S$10.

On April 25, 2012, the victim asked the man for S$300 to buy a handphone. The man called the victim’s friend, a 17-year-old sales assistant, later in the evening asking them to go to his Ang Mo Kio home. As she was uncomfortable going there alone, the victim asked her friend to accompany her.

Once there, he said he would teach them how to make money by becoming a “hostess”. Despite her reluctance, she was persuaded to strip naked and pose on the bed for a photo, which the man took with his mobile phone. The next day, a family friend of the girl’s reported the incident to the police.

Today, defence lawyer S S Dhillon argued that the victim was a “runaway girl” and that her mum had confided in his client about her problems. The man had not touched her either, he added.

Pleading for leniency, he highlighted the man’s “contributions to society”, such as speaking to delinquents about not re-offending and voluntarily contributing S$27,000 to eight Nepalese earthquake victims.

But deputy public prosecutor Dillon Kok pressed for a sentence of six to eight months’ imprisonment, citing the aggravating factors in the case, including the victim’s young age and his persuading her to pose naked despite her reluctance. “It is not even taking a picture of a naked girl. It’s child porn,” Mr Kok added.

The maximum punishment for the offence under the Children and Young Persons Act is five years’ jail and/or a S$10,000 fine.


Source: www.todayonline.com

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