Gynaecologist gets jail for underage sex

Ong Theng Kiat had slept with the girl, then 14, in 2011. He was also fined $4,000 for falsely declaring information.

SINGAPORE - A medical specialist who slept with a 14-year-old despite knowing the 47-year gap between them was sentenced to 10 months' jail on Wednesday for two counts of sex with a minor.

Gynaecologist Ong Theng Kiat, who had committed 13 distinct sexual offences, was also fined $4,000 for falsely declaring he was not the subject of any inquiry or police probe when he was renewing his practising certificate last July. The certificate lapsed in December.

The 63-year-old, who recently became a grandfather, admitted to sleeping with the student at a hotel and in his car.

The court heard that Ong, whose wife had died in May 2011, communicated with the teen after seeing her details on a dating website that year. In the course of their text messages, she revealed she was 14.

But Ong continued to press for a meeting. On Sept 6, 2011, they met and he drove her to Bukit Brown Cemetery, where she changed out of her school uniform. He told her he was 40 and worked in stocks.

Later, he took her to Balestier Hotel and had sex with her.

He gave her two emergency contraceptive pills he had obtained from his clinic at Gleneagles Medical Centre, and made her take the first one in front of him. He later called to check she had taken the other.

They met for the fourth and final time in early 2012 and had sex in his car at the cemetery.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz had sought 12 to 15 months' jail, citing several aggravating factors.

She said Ong knew her age but proceeded "undeterred and unfazed" and took active steps to meet her.

Their text messages indicated he intended to have sexual activities with the minor, and was thus concerned with her age and whether she was above or below 14.

"As an educated adult and a father himself, he ought to have pulled the brakes on the relationship there and then. He chose not to," she said.

Ong's lawyer, Mr Sunil Sudheesan, said his client was depressed because of his wife's sudden death. He tendered testimonials to show Ong was upright, trustworthy and well-behaved, and well-respected in the medical profession.

District Judge Soh Tze Bian allowed Ong to defer sentence until March 14 and extended his bail.

elena@sph.com.sg

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