Sex predator in S’pore who preyed on child, 6, caught with DNA match 8 years after offence
In 2014, a man lured a six-year-old girl away from her elder sister and the family’s domestic worker, and made her perform a sex act on him at a staircase landing.
They had been waiting at the void deck of a Housing Board block in Pasir Ris for the school bus.
The victim’s father made a police report, and the perpetrator’s DNA was found on her T-shirt, but the trail grew cold.
The culprit, Lau Seng Kee, who had no prior criminal history, remained at large for eight years as he continued to seek out primary school girls in uniform in the Pasir Ris area.
He was finally brought to justice in 2022. The father of a nine-year-old girl had called the police after confronting Lau for offering to buy ice cream for the girl.
A cleaner then told the responding officers that Lau had performed an obscene act in the presence of another girl some weeks ago.
Lau’s DNA profile, generated after his arrest, registered a “cold hit” against one of the profiles obtained in the 2014 case, which was stored in the Health Sciences Authority (HSA) database.
On Monday, Lau, now 60, was sentenced to 11 years’ jail by the High Court after he pleaded guilty to a charge of sexual assault by penetration for the acts he committed against the then six-year-old at the staircase landing on Feb 21, 2014.
Two other charges, one for sexually exploiting the victim in the same incident and one for performing an obscene act on April 28, 2022, were taken into consideration during sentencing.
The sentence included a six-month term imposed in lieu of caning; Lau cannot be caned as he is above the age of 50.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jean Goh told the court that Lau had waylaid the victim in the 2014 case when she was playing hide-and-seek with her sister while waiting for the school bus.
When the victim went to the staircase to search for her sister, Lau beckoned to the victim to follow him up the stairs, and she complied.
At the staircase landing, he exposed himself to the victim and made her perform a sex act on him, before he left the scene.
The victim could not comprehend what transpired and walked down to the ground floor. She told her elder sister about the incident before they boarded the bus for school.
Over dinner that evening, the victim told her father about the incident. He then made a police report.
The police conducted extensive investigations to try to identify the suspect, and the victim’s uniform was sent to the HSA for analysis.
DNA profiles were generated from the seminal fluid found on her T-shirt, but the police were unable to establish any actionable leads, and the investigative efforts ceased in 2020.
On May 17, 2022, a parent called the police after he confronted Lau for staring at his daughter and approaching the girl at a playground.
As the officers were interviewing Lau, a cleaner came by and informed them that about two to three weeks ago, he had seen the accused performing an obscene act in public in the presence of a girl, aged nine to 10, who was crying.
The cleaner said he had given chase but lost sight of the accused then.
Lau was arrested, and he admitted to the police that there were about six to seven instances when he sought out round-faced girls, and that he sometimes performed obscene acts in public after looking at them.
The prosecutor told the court that Lau’s acts in 2014 caused the victim to suffer from recurring thoughts about her encounter.
Seeking 10 to 12 years’ jail, she said Lau’s offence in broad daylight in a residential estate causes significant unease to the public and to parents in particular, who ought to be able to have their children play in HDB void decks without fear of sexual assault.