SINGAPORE — After a seven-year extra-marital relationship with a woman he first hired as an escort ended, a man demanded that she return him a year’s worth of allowance, then threatened to disseminate intimate videos and photos that were taken without her knowledge.
Chua Joo Kwang, who is married with two sons, was sentenced to seven months' jail on Monday (13 September) after he pleaded guilty to one count each of insulting the victim’s modesty and criminal intimidation, with one count of stalking considered for sentencing.
Chua, 57, and the woman, 46, are both Malaysians and Singapore permanent residents. The woman cannot be named to protect her identity.
In 2011, Chua engaged the woman for escort services. He then had an affair with her, providing her a monthly allowance of $2,500 before their relationship ended in December 2018.
After their relationship ended however, Chua continued harassing the woman over the next three months, sending her some 50 text messages via the WeChat mobile application. He kept insisting on meeting her and also asked her to return him one year of her allowance, which amounted to $30,000, as compensation for the break-up.
Chua also impersonated his own anonymous “friend” to threaten the woman. He used a mobile application to generate a fake number with a US country code in December 2018 in order to achieve his ends.
Between 10 and 16 February 2019, the woman began to receive text messages from an anonymous individual using a foreign number. The individual claimed to be “M”, a friend of Chua’s. In these messages, “M” pestered the woman to meet Chua in order to pay the latter compensation.
As the woman ignored the messages, “M” sent her three intimate photos of herself with Chua. “M” threatened to leak the compromising photos if she continued to ignore the messages.
On 13 February 2019, “M” sent the woman two photographs – one showed her nude, and the other depicted her performing oral sex on Chua.
He then sent the message, “Now I only send photos to you... maybe soon I might send more photos to your family and friends? Better you meet your bf soon to settle what he wants from you. You better satisfy him, make him happy and make sure it ends on his terms! Better for you that way. If your bf is happy, I am happy and there will be NO PROBLEM for you.”
Accused recorded her in sexual acts without her knowledge
After Chua’s identity was ascertained, the police raided his home and seized his laptop and mobile phone. The authorities found eight sexual videos involving Chua and the woman. These were all taken on 6 July 2018 without the woman’s knowledge.
Chua would film the intimate moments with a hidden recording device and without the woman’s consent.
The prosecution sought eight months’ jail for Chua, whom it said had been motivated by a “degree of malice and greed” having “involved the prospect” of public humiliation to terrorise the woman into submitting to him.
Chua had also abused his position as her boyfriend to take illicit videos of her and had cruelly suggested to send them to family and friends, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Huo Jiongrui.
Chua appeared in person, having had his lawyer Ramesh Tiwary discharge himself at the start of the proceedings. Tiwary told the court that he should not participate in the hearing as Chua had not been able to give him clear instructions.
Reading from a note, Chua said in mitigation that he had pleaded guilty, which ensured that the victim did not have to testify in court. He added that he regretted his offence, which was “out of character” and promised not to re-offend with the support of his family.
“I betrayed my wife and two sons,” he said. He also cited his clean record and pointed to a Buddhism practice which will “guide (him) on the right path”.
“I have been in a mental prison for the last 13 months and I don’t want to suffer again,” he added.
For insulting the modesty of a woman, Chua could have been jailed up to a year, or fined, or both.
For committing criminal intimidation, he could have been jailed up to two years, or fined, or both.
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