Gynae, 63, gave girl, 14, morning-after pills after sex

SINGAPORE - She was 14 when she signed up on a dating website, giving her age as 18. Her profile mentioned that she was looking for "guys".

One of the "guys" who responded to her said he was a 40-year-old man who worked in stocks. In truth, he was a 61-year-old gynaecologist.

Even after she told him her real age and despite the fact that he was old enough to be her grandfather, he went on to have sex with her on four occasions from September 2011, to early last year.

Ong Theng Kiat, now 63, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to two counts of having sexual intercourse with the underage girl.

Eleven similar charges involving the same girl will be taken into consideration during sentencing.

The first time Ong had unprotected sex with the girl on Sept 6, 2011, he gave her two "morning-after" pills afterwards to prevent her from getting pregnant.

The court heard that he had taken the contraceptives from his clinic at Gleneagles Medical Centre and they would not have been readily available to his victim without a prescription.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz told the court that after the girl signed up on the dating website in July 2011, she received a message from Ong and they started chatting via text messages.

On Sept 2, she told him in a message that she was only 14. But that did not stop Ong, who has a 30-year-old daughter and a 26-year-old son, from pursuing her.

Instead, the prosecution said, Ong "pursued, encouraged and facilitated the sexual relationship despite knowing that it was wholly inappropriate, illicit and of an unlawful nature".

So, despite being aware she was below the legal age of consent, Ong asked to meet her, saying he would arrange his schedule to suit her availability.

They met for the first time four days later on Sept 6. She was still wearing her school uniform when he picked her up from her home in his car and drove to Bukit Brown Cemetery, near Lornie Road, where she changed out of her uniform.

When she asked him his age, the gynaecologist of more than 20 years' experience lied that he was 40 years old and worked with stocks.

She agreed to go to a hotel with Ong and they went to Balestier Hotel at Balestier Road, where they had unprotected sex.

They then went to watch a movie before he sent her home. Before dropping her off, he gave her two "morning-after" pills and told her to consume them 12 hours apart to prevent a pregnancy.

At his insistence, she took the first pill in the car in his presence. He later called her to make sure she had taken the second pill.

DPP Sharmila told District Judge Soh Tze Bian that Ong and the girl met for the fourth and final time early last year. Ong picked the girl up from school in his car and they went to Bukit Brown Cemetery where they had sex in the back seat of the car. This time, he used a condom.

He dropped her back at school afterwards and they stopped communicating with each other after this.

The incidents came to light after she told a church friend that she had been sexually intimate with Ong. The girl made a police report on Sept 18 last year, stating that she had been sexually active.

Depression

In mitigation, Ong's lawyers, Mr Subhas Anandan and Ms Diana Ngiam, tendered a psychiatric report by Dr Tommy Tan. It said that Ong has had major depressive disorder since his wife, whom he was close to, died on May 13, 2011, after an aneurysm (a swelling of a blood vessel) in her brain ruptured.

Dr Tan said that Ong was suffering from the disorder when he committed the offences and he "was so occupied with his depressed mood that he could not exercise his reason and think of the consequences of his behaviour".

The prosecution, however, said Dr Tan's assertion ran against the evidence.

DPP Sharmila said Ong's actions betrayed a "conscious, calculated and considered decision to conceal his illicit relationship with the minor and a concerted effort to minimise the risks he had exposed himself to".

She said he had the presence of mind to take the girl to a secluded place like the cemetery away from the prying eyes of the public. Similarly, when he checked into the hotel, he told her to remain in the car so he would not be seen with her. And after they had unprotected sex, he gave the girl contraceptives to prevent pregnancy.

Citing their 47-year age difference as "perhaps the most grievous" aggravating factor, the DPP called for a custodial sentence in line with prevailing sentencing norms.

She also stressed that Ong had "actively sought" to meet the girl even after she told him her age.

Mr Anandan requested Judge Soh to call for a probation report and the case has been adjourned to Nov 11 for sentencing. Ong, who has temporarily stopped practising since July 1, is out on $5,000 bail and has to surrender his passport to the authorities on Wednesday.

For each count of having sexual intercourse with a minor, he can be jailed up to 10 years and fined.

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