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Singapore man admits to having sex with and exploiting underage girl he met on social media

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Less than three days after he broke up with a 14-year-old girl, Dylan Tan Sheng Xuan sent at least 10 videos and eight photos of the girl to her schoolmate through social media and the files started circulating. — AFP pic
Less than three days after he broke up with a 14-year-old girl, Dylan Tan Sheng Xuan sent at least 10 videos and eight photos of the girl to her schoolmate through social media and the files started circulating. — AFP pic

SINGAPORE, Nov 21 — While he was four months into a relationship, 20-year-old Dylan Tan Sheng Xuan asked another girl he just met over social media to be his girlfriend.

The 14-year-old girl agreed.

He then sent her naked photos of himself, asking that she do the same. They also had sex even though she was underage.

Less than a month after they got together, Tan broke up with her after he decided that she was not independent and sent him too many phone text messages while he was playing computer games. 

He then sent her naked photos and videos to one of her friends from school, who spread it to other schoolmates.

Yesterday, Tan, now 21, pleaded guilty over video-link to one count each of having sex with a minor and sexual exploitation of a minor.

A third charge of distributing obscene objects to a minor will be considered during sentencing on December 10.

Following calls from both the prosecution and the defence lawyer, District Judge Chee Min Ping ordered that his sentence be decided after Tan is assessed on whether he is suitable for probation. 

Probation is usually offered to first-time offenders aged 16 to 21. This does not result in a recorded criminal conviction and allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences.

The victim cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity. Her schoolmate’s name similarly cannot be published as she is protected under the Children and Young Persons Act.

The court heard that Tan had known the girl’s age before they got together.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Joshua Lim said: “(Tan) felt that the victim was mature and could understand him, even though she was only 14 years old.”

DPP Lim added that the girl initially refused to send naked photos of herself to him, but relented after his repeated requests. 

A few days after they hooked up, Tan asked the girl to meet him at his home.

Although Tan had earlier asked the girl if she was a virgin, she did not know they were going to have sex that day.

At his place, while they were watching television, Tan began touching her and taking off her clothes. They then had unprotected sex in his bedroom. 

Less than three days after they broke up, Tan sent at least 10 videos and eight photos of the girl to her friend from school through social media and told the friend that the girl had bad-mouthed her. 

The friend then forwarded the files to another schoolmate. The girl soon found out that the videos and photos were circulating around school. 

“She suffered from nightmares after that and she distanced herself from others, refusing to go for recess and preferring to remain in the classroom,” DPP Lim said.

The girl became depressed and sought help from the school counsellor.

The discipline master, who was also informed, asked the girl to consider making a police report, which she did.

Mother wanted to ‘teach him a lesson’

After spending more than a month in remand, Tan was released on Friday on S$15,000 (RM45,692) bail. 

His mother, who was present in court, had earlier chosen not to bail him out because she wanted to “teach him a lesson”, Tan’s lawyer SS Dhillon told the court. 

Dhillon, when pleading for a probation suitability report to be called, added that Tan’s mother was a single parent after her husband died.

“I’ve spoken to (Tan) as well, and I’ve told him that if given the chance, he has to abide by all the rules and regulations,” he said.

“And he is indeed very remorseful. He’s prepared to abide by any recommendations as stated in the probation report.”

For adult offenders, sexual penetration of a minor carries a maximum of 10 years’ jail or a fine, or both.

Sexual exploitation of a minor carries a maximum of five years’ jail or a fine of up to S$10,000, or both. — TODAY

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