Singapore

Rope-skipping coach guilty of sexual offences against young student

A rope-skipping coach was yesterday found guilty of sexual offences against a student who was a minor.

While the judge found the victim's testimony to be believable and credible to some extent, he found it not sufficient to convict Roger Yue Jr, 59. Instead, it was Yue's own words that did him in.

What sealed his fate was a statement he had given to the police, as well as an interview with a psychiatrist.

These revealed that Yue considered himself to be in a relationship with the girl and that he committed various acts on her, including using objects to sexually violate her.

The offences took place between 2008 and 2010, when the girl was between 13 and 14 years old. The victim, who is now 22, cannot be named because of a gag order to protect her identity.

She got to know Yue in 2006 when he was appointed to coach her primary school's rope-skipping team.

He later invited the girl to join a private competitive rope-skipping team and got her to help him as he coached teams from several schools.

The victim said Yue sexually abused her until late 2010. Eventually, she told her polytechnic lecturer and counsellor about her ordeal. She made a police report on April 28, 2014.

Delivering his decision yesterday, Justice Aedit Abdullah said the fact that the victim did not tell anyone in authority about the incidents until about five years later "gave some pause".

The victim's behaviour in continuing with training and maintaining contact with Yue may also seem odd, given that she was being sexually abused repeatedly. But the High Court judge accepted that victims of sexual abuse may not behave in a stereotypical way.

COURT & CRIME