Monday, December 15, 2008

Underage sex: Teen was a 'traditional boy'

Dec 15, 2008

Mum shocked to learn that son had sex with girl, 11, as he never seemed to hide secrets from her

By Teh Joo Lin & Kimberly Spykerman

MOMENTS after the teenager received a call from a police officer asking him to go to the station for having sex with an 11-year-old girl, Nicholas Lim called his mother and said in Mandarin: 'Mummy, I'm dead.'

He sounded so distraught that his mother, a housewife in her 40s, feared he would attempt to kill himself.

He did not tell her then what the police had called him up for.

But when the teen returned home to his mother, who was waiting for him anxiously, he revealed how he had sex with a girl who was only 11 at that time.

Nicholas, now 17, had first met the girl over popular social networking site Friendster early last year - something he uses regularly to get to know more people.

Within weeks, they met and had sex at her flat. They also had sex at a staircase landing of a block.

Their relationship ended two weeks later, as the girl said they had 'drifted apart'.

This was also when the boy started working as a waiter at private functions during his school holidays.

He worked long hours and grew frustrated when he received persistent calls from the girl, according to his mother. The girl would ask him questions like where he was, what he was doing and whether he had eaten.

Back then, he told his mother he had broken up with the girl because he had no time for her, but did not reveal her real age to his mum.

Although he had had several girlfriends before that, his mother said she had not met any of them.

Then, in August, almost a year after their brief relationship, Nicholas' past caught up with him.

The police called him and told him that he could either go down to the police station himself or they would come and arrest him.

Nicholas told his mother that he had been shocked to get the call as the incident had occurred more than a year ago, and he had not heard anything of it till then.

According to his mother, who spoke to The Straits Times from her three-room flat near Buona Vista, he was badly affected by what officers had told him at the interview - that he could be jailed for what he had done.

'I really didn't know it was wrong. She was the one who started it,' he reportedly told his mother, who added that it was her son's first time having sex.

She said: 'I knew that he had a girlfriend because he would talk about her, but I did not know that she was only 11.'

She was shocked because her son was a 'traditional boy' who got squeamish when he saw scantily clad women on television, and left the door open when he used the computer.

Nicholas feared that the incident would affect his future prospects. Since the incident, the teen, who is said by his manager to be a diligent worker, had been unable to focus on his work.

He has now promised his mother to work hard and do well for her.

Seeing how distressed her son was, his mother had no heart to berate him for what he had done.

Fearing that pressure from the incident would cause him to take his life, she reassured him that he still had his family's love and support.

Mother and son were close, according to her. 'He always talks to me about what is on his mind,' she said.

She thought there were no secrets between them. After all, he slept with his room door wide open and never seemed to have anything to hide.

She knew he used Friendster to get to know more friends and would meet them in groups. But she did not know about his rendezvous with the young girl.

She maintains that her son was incapable of luring such a young girl into having sex with him, because he 'just wasn't that sort of person'.

She said: 'He has never brought home any of his previous girlfriends, so I thought I really had nothing to worry about.'

She said that if he had invited a girl home, warning bells would have rung in her head, as they did when her elder son brought his girlfriend home for the first time.

Then, she made the effort to talk about the birds and the bees with her elder son.

She also kept tabs on what Nicholas did - every now and then, she would check his bag.

The boy's father, a mailroom employee, said he was relieved that his son was given probation and not jailed.

Nicholas' parents had to come up with a $5,000 bond to the court to ensure that he behaves from now on, or they could lose the bond and he could face harsher penalties for his offence.

His former girlfriend, now 13, is staying in a hostel after her mother filed a Beyond Parental Control order against her earlier this year, which was granted by the court. .

[The other side of the story.]

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