Engineer who preyed on 31 young boys gets 30 years' jail, 24 strokes of the cane

Engineer who preyed on 31 young boys gets 30 years' jail, 24 strokes of the cane
Yap Weng Wah, who preyed on 31 victims in what was described as Singapore's worst case of sex offences against young boys, has been sentenced to 30 years in jail and 24 strokes of the cane.

SINGAPORE - An engineer who preyed on at least 31 young boys over a span of two-and-a-half years has been jailed for 30 years and ordered to be caned 24 times, in what has been described as the "worst case of sexual offending against pubescent boys".

Justice Woo Bih Li, who presided over the case, noted that 31-year-old Malaysian Yap Weng Wah had preyed on a large number of victims during that period and had used the Internet to widen his reach, Channel NewsAsia reported.

The report added that his misdeeds were exposed when the sister of one of the victims checked her brother's mobile phone.

The Straits Times also reported that in all but one case, Yap had either sodomised or had oral sex with them at his rental flat, in hotel rooms and toilets at shopping centres and swimming pools.

2,000 videos of him engaging in lewd acts were discovered on his laptop when police raided his Yishun home.

According to The New Paper, Yap's modus operandi was to befriend boys on Facebook using different identities, but usually as an 18-year-old polytechnic student.

Between 2009 and 2012, 31 boys had accepted "gorgor's" (big brother in Cantonese) online requests, usually after seeing that they shared mutual friends. 

He would then work to gain their trust, portraying himself as an older brother or mentor, sometimes over several weeks or months.

In the course of his exchanges, Yap would also subtly bring up the subject of sex to assess his victims' sexual orientations, court papers revealed.

Once confident of Yap's supposed sincerity, the boys were open to Yap's request for a meeting.

When they did meet, Yap would usually pay for meals or movie tickets. He would then lure them to his rental flat on the pretext of playing video games, reported The New Paper.

The New Paper added that Yap also violated the boys at public places such as in toilet cubicles in shopping centres and swimming complexes, among others. In all his encounters with his victims, Yap did not use a condom.

The Institute of Mental Health diagnosed Yap with hebephilia - a sexual preference for early adolescent children generally aged 11 to 14.

grongloh@sph.com.sg

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