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Tuesday, 10 June 2014

Ex-newsman jailed for sex with minor

A FORMER journalist with The Straits Times was sentenced to 18 months’ jail for having sex with a minor.

Eisen Teo Guan Kuan, 29, who faced three charges, pleaded guilty yesterday to engaging in oral sex with a 15-year-old girl in a male toilet cubicle at Fort Canning Park in early 2012.

Teo, who is married, also admitted to having sex with her at his flat in Serangoon Avenue 1 on June 23 that year when his wife was baking in the kitchen.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen said Teo, who was a Singapore Press Holdings (SPH) scho­larship recipient, was part of the Straits Times schools team, which among other things, conducted activities for students through its IN Crowd media club.

His scope of work included provi­ding guidance and acting as a mentor to student journalists.

Teo had first met the victim through his work at the newspaper in 2011. She was 14 at the time.

When Teo read her blog and found out that she was depressed, he started to take a special interest in her.

They maintained close contact via e-mail, WhatsApp and Facebook messages.

The victim, who cannot be named, regularly confided in him about her depressive behaviour.

They became a couple in the last quarter of 2011, meeting outside the media club activities and engaging in intimate behaviour.

Chong said he did not tell the victim he was married initially.

It was only in early 2012 that he told her he had a wife.

Teo, who got married in 2010, also lied to her that he and his wife shared an “open relationship’’ that allowed both of them to have other sexual partners.

He had even gained the trust of the victim’s family as her mentor and helped the family organise a surprise party for her in November 2011.

On June 23, 2012, Teo invited the girl to his HDB flat to help him paint his home. He introduced the victim to his wife then.

The court heard the victim later had sex with Teo while the wife was in the kitchen baking. Two days later, the girl attempted suicide in a toilet cubicle by cutting her arms.

While she was recovering in hospital, her father noticed that Teo and his daughter behaving rather closely.

The victim’s elder sister and father later went through her phone and found several Facebook and Whats-App messages with sexual content between Teo and the victim.

The father then sent a lawyer’s letter to tell Teo to stop contacting his daughter.

A few months later, the victim told her sister about the sex with Teo and a police report was filed in December that year.

Teo, who works as a researcher, will start serving his sentence on June 24. — The Straits Times / Asia News Network

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