SINGAPORE — A man who met a 12-year-old boy on a gay dating application had three sexual encounters with the child despite knowing his age.
Medrano Ermin Marasigan, a 36-year-old Filipino, was jailed for two years and eight months on Wednesday (29 September) after he pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16, with three counts of the same nature taken into consideration for his sentencing. Another charge of committing sexual exploitation of a child was also considered.
Medrano, a restaurant manager, met the boy through the gay dating app Blued in December 2019. The boy, now 13, identifies as bisexual and was introduced to gay dating apps around June 2019 by an acquaintance he met online. The boy and the acquaintance cannot be named due to a gag order.
He downloaded Blued and another similar app to expand his circle of male friends and falsely declared he was 18 in both apps. In fact, he indicated he was 13 on his profile. He also told Medrano that he was 13.
The boy’s age did not deter Medrano, who asked for his photo and asked to meet up. The pair did so thrice between 13 December 2019 and 3 January 2020 and engaged in sexual activities each time.
On 13 December 2019, the boy sent Medrano two photos of his genitals at the latter’s request. Medrano asked for a meeting at his place on the same day. The boy initially agreed but later changed his mind, saying he needed to run some errands. Medrano replied that he was “sad” and “hurt” and persuaded the boy, saying the meeting “won’t take long”. He also offered to call a Grab ride for the victim to his house, and to his next destination.
The boy relented and went to Medrano’s house, and they engaged in sexual acts.
Four days later, Medrano texted the victim but the boy did not reply until the next day, saying that he had plans already. Medrano then replied, “Im (sic) not important to you. Its (sic) fine.”
On 19 December 2019, Medrano initiated a meet up. The two engaged in sexual activities in Medrano’s bedroom.
On 3 January last year, the boy again accepted an invitation to Medrano’s house. They engaged in sexual activities. The two ceased contact on 11 January last year.
On 5 February last year, the victim’s stepfather checked the boy’s mobile phone and discovered his conversations with other gay men. He confronted the boy, who confessed to having “physical contact” with three men. After a discussion with the boys mother, the stepfather lodged a police report.
For each count of sexual penetration of a minor under 16, Medrano could have been jailed up to 20 years and fine or caning.