Singapore Catholic to plead guilty to sexually abusing teenagers

Union of Catholic Asian News (UCA News) [Hong Kong]

March 5, 2022

The man in his 60s is accused of sexual offenses against two male teenagers between 2005 and 2007

A senior member of a Catholic lay order accused of sexually abusing two teenagers will plead guilty in court.

His lawyer Edmond Pereira told the State Courts of Singapore that his client will admit the offenses on April 5 when the court is scheduled to have its next hearing, Channel News Asia reported on March 3.

The man in his 60s, a former officer of a Catholic school in Singapore, is accused of sexual offenses against two males aged 14-16 some time between 2005 and 2007.

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.

The court formally charged him on Jan. 18 and issued a gag order against revealing his name, designation, appointment, the victims, and the school where he worked.

The accused had earlier been offered bail for S$15,000 (US$11,039).

Under the 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 on each charge under the Children and Young Persons Act. A repeat offender faces up to four years in jail and a fine up to S$10,000 on each charge.

After accepting the charges against the man, the court also ordered him 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.”

Media reports say the man is not a priest or religious but a member of a Catholic religious lay order in Singapore.

In an earlier response to UCA News, Singapore Archdiocese’s communication office declined to comment on the case. “As the matter is now pending before the court, it would not be appropriate for us to comment further,” the archdiocese said.