PETALING JAYA: A Malaysian has been jailed for 16 months in Singapore after he pleaded guilty to two charges of having sex with a girl under the age of 16.
Restaurant manager Raja Zulfadhli Noor Raja M, 35, had committed the act with the victim twice, with the first time taking place in the restaurant they both worked at, Singapore news portal TODAY reported.
The court was told that Raja Zulfadhli first met the girl in April 2018, when she was 14. She was a part-time worker at the restaurant that he managed.
They started a relationship soon after and had sex for the first time in June 2018 in a booth at the back of the restaurant.
Deputy public prosecutor (DPP) June Ngian said Raja Zulfadhli was aware that the victim was underage but proceeded to have sex with her again in her bedroom a few months later.
In June 2020, they stopped seeing each other and a month later, the teenager sought psychiatric help to cope with the emotional distress caused by her broken relationship with Raja Zulfadhli.
According to the portal, on Feb 25, 2022, the teenager decided to file a police report on the matter.
The prosecution sought a sentence of up to 17 months in prison for the accused, saying there was an abuse of trust as he was the girl’s manager at the restaurant.
Ngian also said Raja Zulfadhli did not use protection during sexual intercourse, putting the minor at a higher risk of developing sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) and becoming pregnant.
Defence counsel Cheryl Sim urged the court to consider a 15-month jail term for her client, saying that his early guilty plea demonstrated his profound remorse and regret for his actions.
Judge Prem Raj then ordered Raja Zulfadhli to serve 16 months in jail, considering how he had exposed the victim to the risk of pregnancy and STDs.
Under Singapore law, Raja Zulfadhli could have faced a maximum penalty of up to 10 years in jail or a fine, or both, for engaging in sexual intercourse with a minor.