SINGAPORE: A man accused of having paid sex with a minor was acquitted of the offence after a six-day trial. Ng Kheng Siang, 43, is the first man involved in an online vice ring case, to claim trial and walk away a free man.
The businessman was accused of having paid sex with a minor on February 25, 2013, at a hotel in Tiong Bahru.
During his trial — held in November 2013 and January 2014 — Ng had maintained he did not have sex with the underage girl. His lawyers said Ng had been put off by the bloodshot eyes of the minor, and thus did not proceed to have sex with her.
In his judgement, District Judge Lim Keng Yeow said there were problems with the evidence of the minor, which casts a shadow on her overall credibility.
The judge said the minor testified she could remember having sex with Ng, and that Ng had stood out among her clients because of his height, his “smart” attire and that he was the only client who tipped her.
But the judge pointed out that the minor had weak recollection of surrounding facts.
The judge said: “The minor cannot be expected to recall every minute detail of her encounters with all her clients after they took place.
“But if there were good reasons why she could distinctly recall this particular client and that sex did take place with him, I could not readily accept as reasonable her insistence that she cannot recall key facts proximate to the sex act.”
These include the minor not being able to recall if she had been asked for her identity card and whether it was she who put on the condom for Ng.
The judge also said the minor could not remember if Ng did not go on to have sex with her after noticing her bloodshot eyes.
But during the minor’s re-examination, the judge said: “She clearly accepted that (Ng) was uncomfortable with her bloodshot eyes, even put off by them.”
The judge added that it was entirely possible that the discomfort arose before sex had occurred.
Ng was accompanied by a group of some 10 male friends in court, who cheered and patted Ng on the back after the court session ended.
In a statement to the media, Ng’s lawyers from WongPartnership said while Ng is not proud of the sexual services he sought, he has always maintained he did not have sex with the minor.