Chua Hock Leong, the 64-year old who last year received an 8 year sentence for sexually assaulting a 12-year-old boy in a public restroom, is now looking at a longer jail sentence. On Tuesday, June 26, his jail term was extended by the apex court to 11 years.
This was announced by Judge of Appeal Andrew Phang. The judge explained that the jail term extension was given because Mr. Chua had decided to claim trial, making the boy suffer additional trauma when he told the story of his molestation.
Judge Phang made the decision along with Judges of Appeal Judith Prakash and Tay Yong Kwang.
The boy, who was 12 years old when the incident occurred, is now 15. He continues to suffer both psychological and emotional aftereffects of the molestation, becoming withdrawn, fearful of taking to older men, and has lost his enjoyment of activities outside his house, the judge reported.
Since Mr. Chua was older than 50 when the crime was committed, he could no longer be caned as part of his sentence, therefore an additional 6 months jail time was given him.
After the High Court had given Mr. Chua the minimum sentence of 8 years in jail for sexual assault by penetration of a person under 14, the prosecution filed an appeal to lengthen Mr. Chua’s prison sentence.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Terence Chua asked for a 12 year jail term for Mr. Chua, saying that the High Court last year had not followed sentencing benchmarks, which called for 10-15 years jail time. He also said that other factors such as how Mr. Chua breached the boy’s confidence and trust, and the extent of the boy’s psychological trauma had been failed to be taken into consideration.
The boy had said in his victim impact statement, “Life is no longer the same for me.”
The incident occurred in January 2016, when Mr. Chua saw the boy at the void deck of an HDB block, where the boy was waiting for a friend. Mr. Chua offered the boy $2 to accompany him to the restroom at Tampines Eco Park, where he molested the boy. The boy’s mother soon after filed a police report.