Canadian man accused of raping Singaporean girl after befriending her online

Canadian man accused of raping Singaporean girl after befriending her online
The controversial measures would allow police to strictly monitor people believed to be falling prey to radical propaganda, even if they have not been arrested.

A Canadian man has been accused of repeatedly raping a Singaporean girl and taking explicit nude photos of her when she visited him in Canada.

James Brian Stephenson, 37, allegedly met the girl while playing an online video game in 2012. He told Canadian newspaper the Winnipeg Free Press that they got 'married' in the virtual game, and discovered they shared common interests. The pair continued chatting for several months.

The girl then flew to Winnipeg with her mother in April 2014 and met Stephenson after she turned 18. It was during this visit that they got engaged and did a "ceremonial celebration of marriage" which they captured on video.

The paper said it had viewed the video, which includes Stephenson on bended knee proposing to the teen, and her mother giving both of them her blessing while warning Stephenson to take good care of her daughter.

The teen and her mother then returned to Singapore after that visit for her to finish schooling, before flying back to Canada in July 2014, where they began living with Stephenson in his condominium.

Canadian police allege that is when he began to rape the girl. According to the paper's sources, the girl and her mother managed to enter Canada based on the fact that she was engaged to Stephenson. She has since denied having a relationship with him.

Stephenson has been granted bail, despite objections from the Crown.

cynloh@sph.com.sg

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