S'pore undergrad on online blackmail rap

An ICQ chat that snowballed into blackmail and an attempt to recruit a minor as a prostitute landed an undergrad in court for computer-related intimidation.

SINGAPORE--An ICQ chat that snowballed into blackmail and an attempt to recruit a minor as a prostitute landed an undergrad in court for computer-related intimidation.

Tay We-Jin, a second-year mechanical and production engineering student at Nanyang Technological University, met the 15-year-old on the instant messaging system on October 20 last year.

She started sharing details of her sexual history, which included being raped by several men, having a "sugar-daddy" and a boyfriend with gonorrhea. On October 27 and 28, Tay asked her for sex, but she declined.

Tay, who had not identified himself to her, then sent her messages that he would pimp for her, and threatened to expose her promiscuous lifestyle to her family and school if she refused to co-operate: "im going to make yr life hell.... First yr family....then yr school. U never know what hurt is till now. mark my words." In another email, Tay wrote: "Bottomline, u be a sex xlave to whoever. U got that clear?"

Tay also asked her to write a contract stating she was not forced to provide sex, and to attach a photocopy of her identity card. He also told her she would be paid S$100 for each client she serviced.

The girl reported him to the police, and he was arrested on October 31, The Straits Times reported.

Tay was in court yesterday, with his family. His defense said that the affair had begun as a joke, which spiraled out of control, and that Tay did not have enough information about the girl's family or school to expose her.

However, the prosecution said that he had been persistent in his threats, which were calculated to frighten the girl and extract sexual services. Tay will be sentenced on June 29.

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