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Published: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 12:00:00 AM
Updated: Friday December 13, 2013 MYT 8:02:45 AM

Man weds minor but still goes to jail

In what is believed to be the first case of its kind here, a Singaporean man was jailed for having sex with an underage girl who is now his wife.

District Judge Mathew Joseph said yesterday that the case was “unusual”.

He said it was the first case of underage sex he has heard where the victim and accused are now a married couple.

While the judge said he was prepared to consider the case differently, he said the court did not condone the accused for having sex with the minor – who was then 15 – as the couple were not married at the time of the offence.

The accused, a 32-year-old computer technician, married the Singaporean girl in Indonesia a year ago when she was 16.

His wife, now 17, was in court together with his six-year-old daughter from a previous marriage.

The judge added that he hoped the accused would put the past behind him for the sake of his wife – who is now seven months pregnant – and their unborn child.

The sex offences came to light when the accused was probed by the police for a forgery offence.

For having sex with the minor, the accused was sentenced to six months in jail.

Together with the sex offences, the accused pleaded guilty to 15 charges last month – mostly for cheating – and was sentenced to a total of 18 months behind bars.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Victor Lim told the court last month that the victim befriended the accused some time between 2008 and 2009 while playing an online game.

She was then around 12 or 13.

The two entered into a relationship in December 2011.

In the same month, the accused told the victim that he wanted to have sex with her. After she agreed, he drove her to a hotel in Geylang.

Their next sexual encounter took place early last year, when she was living with the accused at his Sembawang flat.

Soon after that, the victim discovered that she was pregnant. The accused, who was then divorced, made plans to marry her.

For one of the forgery offences, the court heard that the accused had faked a letter purportedly from the Institute of Mental Health in March, after his girlfriend told him that she wanted to quit her studies at a secondary school. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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