A 34-YEAR-OLD technician, who threatened at least 14 girls by telling them that he would distribute sexually compromising videos of them and manipulated five of the victims into having sex with him, was sentenced to 31 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
Chinese national Lin Rongxin, who is married with a son, had also threatened three of his victims into secretly filming other girls and women while they were changing or showering.
In sentencing Lin yesterday, High Court judge Hoo Sheau Peng called him a depraved sexual predator who harmed the lives 20 victims and their families.
Justice Hoo said the case was a reminder of the increasing use of technology in crimes, and that the sentence was a signal to would-be offenders that the law has no tolerance for those who abuse technology to prey on the vulnerable.
“It is my hope that the victims will find some measure of closure with the conclusion of this case,” she said.
Lin had pleaded guilty on Nov 28 to three counts of rape against three victims, three counts of criminal intimidation for threatening to circulate naked photos or videos of three victims, and one count of instigating a victim to secretly film her flatmates in the shower.
Another 57 charges were taken into consideration for sentencing.
Using multiple false personas, Lin ran an elaborate “sextortion” scheme. Posing as 19-year-old Lin Zhi Xuan, he “catfished” girls aged 14 to 19 into sending him revealing photos and videos of themselves.
After getting hold of the compromising videos and photos, he threatened the victims into giving him money or into performing various sexual acts.
At least five victims were forced into performing sexual acts on video for him, but seven others refused and eventually blocked him.He also demanded the victims to have sex with another man, “Huang Yi”, who was actually himself.
After having sex with the victims, he fooled them into thinking he would help them resolve the threats by their blackmailer.
Three of the unsuspecting girls ended up having a relationship with him, and had sex with him on further occasions. — The Straits Times/ANN