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Singapore Catholic charged with sexual abuse of teenagers

The man in his 60s faces charges of committing unlawful sexual acts against minor boys between 2005 and 2007

Singapore Catholic charged with sexual abuse of teenagers

People walk out of the SMRT subway station in the Chinatown district of Singapore. (Photo: AFP)

Published: January 21, 2022 06:57 AM GMT

Updated: January 24, 2022 10:10 AM GMT

A court in Singapore has charged a former Catholic officer of a church-run school with committing unlawful sexual acts with at least two teenage boys more than a decade ago.

District Judge Terence Tay at the State Courts of Singapore accepted the charges on Jan. 18 but issued a ban against media revealing the identity of the accused, victims and the school involved, local media reports said.

Court documents showed that the accused in his 60s had unnatural sex with a boy aged 14-16 some time between 2005 and 2006. He also committed the same act some time between April 2007 and December 2007 with a younger boy aged 14-15.

The accused faces two charges of carnal intercourse against the order of nature under Singapore’s Penal Code. He was also charged with two counts of sexual exploitation of a child or young person under the Children and Young Persons Act.

Under Singaporean Penal Code, a person convicted of each count of carnal intercourse against nature can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

A first-time offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined up to S$5,000 (US$3,714) for each charge under the Children and Young Persons Act. A repeat offender faces up to four years in jail and fine up to S$10,000 for each charge.

The court has also ordered the man to be remanded at Changi Prison Complex Medical Center for a psychiatric observation

The Straits Times reported that the man was part of a religious order of the Catholic faith when he committed the unlawful sexual acts, adding that “he is not a priest.”  

The court has also ordered the man to be remanded at Changi Prison Complex Medical Center for a psychiatric observation in order to find out if he was “suffering from an abnormality of mind that could have impaired his mental responsibility for his acts.”

His lawyer Edmond Pereira reportedly said his client was called by police in May last year and returned to Singapore from abroad to address the matter.

He provided several psychiatric reports to the investigation officer and was told a few days ago that he would be charged in court, he added.

The case has been adjourned until Feb. 10.

* UCA News contacted Archdiocese of Singapore for a response. The Archbishop's Communications Office of the Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Singapore said: "As the matter is now pending before the Court, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further."

* This story was updated on Jan. 24 to add comments from Archdiocese of Singapore

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