Saturday, July 17, 2004


Man loses appeal against sex charge
CJ said he is lucky to have been jailed nine months for each of the two convictions, as the maximum penalty is five years
14-YEAR-OLD girl, upset about a rumour in school that she was no longer a virgin, complained to her form teacher.
A school counsellor later told the girl's mother that the teenager had had a sexual relationship with a man she met online, through Internet relay chat, or IRC. The man, Oh Boon Sun, now 24, was then a full-time national serviceman. He got to know her early last year and they later had a relationship.
He claims that they got no further than heavy petting, when she went to his home in Yishun to download some songs from the Internet.
After a three-day trial in January this year, he was convicted of twice having sex with the girl in February last year, when she was under 16. The girl has since turned 16.
Oh was sentenced to nine months' jail on each charge, the terms to run concurrently. His appeal against conviction and sentence was heard yesterday.
His lawyer, Mr Peter Ong Lip Cheng, said that Oh got to know the girl only in March last year, that is, the month after he was supposed to have had sex with her.
Between Feb 26 and 28 last year, he was in hospital to have his tonsils removed. Afterwards, he stayed with his grandmother, and feeling bored, went home and got online and met the girl.
Mr Ong said the girl's mother made the police report without first verifying the facts and telling her daughter.
The doctor's evidence was unreliable as he could only conclude that the teenager had had sex before, but not that she had sex with Oh.
Moreover, the girl herself admitted in court that she had sex with another man after meeting Oh, he added.
The lawyer said there was a reasonable doubt whether Oh had sex with her.
Deputy Public Prosector Low Cheong Yeow countered that if the girl wanted to frame Oh, she could have told the police earlier. She revealed his name only when questioned by the school counsellor.
Dismissing the appeal, Chief Justice Yong Pung How said Oh was lucky to have been given nine months on each charge, as the maximum penalty is five years' jail.

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