DPP says...Teo exploited victim's trust

DPP says...Teo exploited victim's trust
Eisen Teo.

SINGAPORE - DPP says...

His offences were "repugnant", "grievous" and would "inevitably evoke feelings of outrage and revulsion in the community".

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Amanda Chung did not mince her words when it came to describing Eisen Teo's crimes.

In asking for an 18-month deterrent sentence, she said that Teo had abused the trust of others and exploited his victim.

"(Teo) was in a position of authority as the victim's mentor. The victim would have looked to Teo for professional advice and direction... She was an impressionable 14-year-old girl," Ms Chung said.

His background as a Singapore Press Holdings scholar and the valedictorian of his graduating class at the National University of Singapore would have won her respect and trust, she added.

But instead of being a mentor to her "in a manner befitting a figure of authority", he exploited this trust by "building an emotional dependency" on him through WhatsApp and Facebook messages.

"(This) allowed him to gradually condition her for sexual activities," she added. It wasn't just the victim who trusted him. Her parents did so as well.

Said Ms Chung: "The level of trust reposed in (Teo) by the victim's parents is illustrated by how they unquestioningly permitted the victim to spend time with him, even picking her up from the mall after intercourse."

Teo also knew the vulnerability of his victim, who suffered from clinical depression and was prone to self-harm, as he was "privy to her innermost thoughts".

A report submitted by the Child Guidance Clinic revealed that he instructed the girl to inform him every time she cut herself.

She stated in the report that she "feels stupid" to have gone along with Teo's sexual acts, but did so as she was emotionally needy.

VULNERABLE

"As an adult of considerable intelligence... it should have been clear to (Teo) that he should not take advantage of the victim in her vulnerable state," Ms Chung said.

She said his repeated lies about his marital status from the beginning of their relationship indicated he intended to exploit his victim sexually from the start.

"(He) even had the temerity to introduce the victim to his wife before having sex with the victim in his marital home."

During sentencing, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim disagreed with Teo's defence counsel that the offences were committed in the context of a romantic relationship.

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