A district judge who sentenced a sexual offender to three years' jail yesterday reminded parents of the dangers of unsupervised Internet surfing by children.
Community Court Judge Mathew Joseph said young people who download mobile apps could find themselves ensnared by people like Chock Soon Seng.
The 37-year-old former primary school teacher admitted to three of five charges of sexually abusing a 14-year-old student and threatening to put his naked pictures online and send them to his friends.
The court heard that the victim received a message from Chock earlier this year after downloading a mobile application, "Jack'd", on his cellphone. The app is intended for homosexual people to interact and meet.
Chock asked for the victim's age and learnt that he was going to be 15. Some time in February, the boy met Chock alone in his Hougang Avenue 8 flat.
Chock took him to his bedroom and took naked pictures of him on his iPad, before he made him perform a sexual act on him.
The victim felt disgusted after going home and decided not to contact Chock any more. He ignored further messages to meet up.
On March 21, Chock threatened to post his naked pictures online and send them to his friends if they did not meet. He also said he would wait for the victim outside his house.
Alarmed, the boy told his family members. He made a police report the next day.
Pressing for a stiff sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew highlighted aggravating factors and said the offences were very serious and disturbing.
He said it was clear that Chock, who was jailed for 10 months in 2010 on two counts of attempted sexual exploitation of a child, had not learnt his lesson.
"He has not changed his ways and, in fact, he has succeeded when he failed the last time," the DPP added.
This article was first published on Dec 5, 2014.
Get a copy of The Straits Times or go to straitstimes.com for more stories.