On Wednesday, July 31, a former full-time national serviceman (NSF) with the Singapore Police Force pleaded guilty to seven charges of sexual offences committed against several young girls aged between 12 and 15.
A.R Arun Prashanth, now 25, admitted his guilt to seven charges, including sexually assaulting and penetrating a minor and committing an obscene act with a young person. Some 21 other sexual offence charges were taken into consideration.
Arun had been sexually preying on minors on social media — young girls between the ages of 12 and 15.
When Arun was arrested in 2017 for offences against a 14-year-old victim, the police found 720 upskirt photos in his phone of unknown women, mostly using the “burst” function on his phone, which captures a high number of photos in a few seconds’ time.
In February 2016, the 22-year-old NSF met a 12-year-old victim through Instagram.
In April, after they had exchanged numbers, he began to send her sexually-charged messages, saying she had “voluptuous curves” and repeatedly asked her for nude photos.
The request for naked pictures extended to Arun asking for videos of the young girl in the shower, and he repeatedly asked her to meet him at hotels or his home for “cuddles” or sex.
Citing his status as a policeman, he consistently told the girl to keep their communications a secret.
In May 2016, after Arun repeatedly harassed the girl over messaging, she finally gave in and sent him photo of herself in her brassiere. He would not stop there but asked her to remove it and send him a photo of herself topless.
The young victim gave in to his request but was reportedly depressed afterwards.
Arun did not stop with just one victim. A few months later in 2016, he befriended his next victim through a WhatsApp group chat, this time a girl of 14.
After previously telling his 12-year-old victim that he was a policeman, this time he told the 14-year-old that he was from the “Home Team”.
He harassed her for a meet-up, but the 14-year-old refused all of his requests and eventually blocked him on WhatsaApp.
However; Arun was persistent in hounding her, and he continued to send her messages on Instagram.
In February 2017, the victim told Arun that she was going to skip her co-curricular activities. He took advantage of the information and asked her to meet up at his house, to which she agreed.
When she arrived at his place, Arun hugged the young girl and took her to his bedroom, where they lay on the bed.
It was there that he kissed her lips, cheeks, and neck, after which he then sexually assaulted her. The young girl struggled to move away from him, but Arun pulled her closer. It was when he left the room that she sent text messages to a friend to call the police.
So that Arun would not get suspicious, the victim made up an excuse to leave. After she left Arun’s home in a private-hire car, the driver saw that the young girl was shaking. She told him what happened and the driver took her to file a police report.
Arun’s sentencing is scheduled for August 13.
A recent survey by YouGov Omnibus reported that a quarter of Singaporean women have experienced some form of sexual harassment, the worst of which is sexual assault. Half of those who have been sexually harassed don’t report the incident out of embarrassment or fear of repercussions. -/TISG