Singapore — A man was jailed for seven months on Tuesday (Oct 20) for kissing a teenage girl on the lips and forcing her to perform a sexual act on him.
Chellam Rajesh Kannan, a 26-year-old Indian national who has been in Singapore for three years, entered a guilty plea to two counts of sexual exploitation of a young person, with two additional charges, including wrongful restraint, taken into consideration for sentencing.
His victim has not been named due to a gag order for her protection.
Chellam met the girl, now 16, last year through Instagram, where he sent her a request to follow her account. Although he is married and has a young daughter, and even if he was aware that she was under the legal age, he started exchanging messages with her.
The two met in August 2019 for the first time. Chellam bought his victim a pack of cigarettes.
She consented for them to meet again on Sept 8 at her home in an HDB block in Yishun Avenue 11. Three days before that, however, the girl sent a message to Chellam, asking him to help her buy bottles of cider for sharing with her friends.
They met on Sept 8 at between 4.40 and 5.20 pm. Chellam gave the girl the cider bottles and asked her to go with him to a staircase landing. When they got there, he asked her for a kiss. She refused but when Chellam reminded her that he had bought the cider for her, she kissed him on the lips once but pulled back when he put his tongue in her mouth.
She tried to leave the landing but Chellam unzipped his pants, exposed himself to her, held the girl’s hand on his private parts and forced her to perform a sexual act on him for three minutes. He then left immediately.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gerome Goh told the court: “The victim was afraid to leave as she feared for her safety.”
The New Paper reports that District Judge Shawn Ho agreed with DPP Goh that deterrence was the key consideration in his sentencing, and added: “A stiff sentence is warranted especially since pressure and coercion was visited upon (the victim).”
Chellam, who lost his job as a safety coordinator due to the offence, expressed his remorse and shame at the actions. He added that he had not committed other offences during his stay in Singapore.
He said: “I have gone through lots of suffering in this case. I lost my job, I miss my family, my wife, and (two-year-old) daughter… Mine is a love marriage and my wife is on her own.”
For the offence of sexual exploitation of a young person, Chellam could have spent a maximum of five years in jail, been made to pay a fine of S$10,000 or both. /TISG
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