Singapore, November 13
An Indian-origin man in Singapore has been sentenced to 10 months and four weeks in prison for performing a sex act on a minor.
P Asokan Pappu Pachan, 57, pleaded guilty to a charge of causing a minor to sexually penetrate him with a sex toy and of sending her obscene films on Telegram. Another two charges of possessing obscene films and sexual penetration of a minor were considered in sentencing, Channel News Asia reported.
Pachan met the 15-year-old girl online and arranged to meet her for sexual activities in exchange for money. She lodged a police report after accepting Singapore dollars 250 from the man in exchange for performing a sex act on him with a sex toy.
The court on Friday heard that Pachan came to know the student on a chat application. He asked the victim if she was working or schooling. When the victim said she was studying, Pachan replied that they would have to be "very discreet".
"Enticed by the monetary reward, the victim accepted the offer," the report quoted the prosecutor as saying in the court.
She complied with Pachan's request for a photo of herself, with a close-up of her face, and the accused said he would book a hotel.
On September 1, 2020, he met the victim and they tried to enter two hotels. However, they were unable to get a room at both places, as they could not present the victim's identity card.
They got to his home where they engaged in sexual activities. Pachan gave the girl the money and she left. Later that same day, she lodged a police report saying she was paid for sexual activities.
The prosecutor sought at least 11 to 13 months’ jail term, saying the victim was 14 at the time of sex engagement and Pachan was 56. By virtue of her young age and "inexperience in life", sentencing principles for such minors are protective, she said.
There was a large age gap of 41 years between the offender and the victim, and the victim's consent here "is irrelevant as the law was designed to protect minors due to their immaturity", said the prosecutor.
Defence lawyer asked instead for not more than 10 months' jail, saying his client "deeply regrets his actions".
"My client did not deliberately seek out minors on the app for sexual gratification or conduct. On the contrary, as an aged, unmarried bachelor, he was lonely and seeking intimacy. At best, this was a case where he gave in to lust and temptation," he said.
He asked for leniency, saying the accused had a stroke this year and has other medical conditions such as diabetes and hypertension.
The judge allowed Asokan to begin his jail term in December, so he can serve out his notice period at work and sort out matters relating to his property as he lives alone, the report said. PTI
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