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Singapore-born fraud, rapist jailed for 6½ years in NSW

Singapore-born fraud, rapist jailed for 6½ years in NSW

Source: Straits Times
Article Date: 13 Mar 2020
Author: K.C. Vijayan

Aussie judge calls him 'predatory parasite' for cheating and raping Malaysian woman.

A Singapore-born rapist and serial fraudster was described as a "predatory parasite" by an Australian judge who found him guilty of raping and cheating a Malaysian woman whom he had met in a church in Sydney.

Jeffrey Chia was aged 56 and his victim was 21 when he committed the sex offences on Aug 1, 2017, in a $200-a-night hotel room he had conned her into paying for him to stay.

As she pushed him away during the sexual assault, he told her to relax because they had met at church and not in a club.

Said New South Wales (NSW) District Court Judge M. King: "In my view, he can be appropriately described as a predatory parasite lacking any empathy in relation to his victims, unconcerned by the stress or emotional anguish that he might cause to them or their families."

The judge sentenced Chia to six years and six months in all, according to decision grounds released last month.

He had been found guilty of two counts of having sex without consent, after admitting to four counts of cheating the victim of A$4,194.25 (S$3,740). He was sentenced last September.

This was the first time he was convicted for sex offences. All his past cases involved fraud.

The court noted that Chia had, over some 17 years from 2000, deceived around 16 Korean or Japanese victims in NSW, among others, and served jail terms.

The judge said Chia has "demonstrated for years a single determination to deceive such persons into providing funds to support his lifestyle".

His modus operandi was to search for potential victims in areas where he expected to find young female Asians. He would then find a cause to strike up a conversation.

In the case of the Malaysian woman, he suggested she remove her cap while in the church, noted the judge.

She had walked into St Mary's Cathedral in Sydney on Aug 1, 2017, and Chia went to sit behind her.

He told her it can be offensive to wear a cap in church.

He then asked her why she was there and she told him she was looking for a study course and to get permanent residence.

As they conversed, he told her that he was homeless and had lost all his belongings, including those with photo identity.

She offered an empty room in her residence, but he convinced her that he needed a hotel room.

He got her to pay for one and talked her into entering the room, where he raped her.

She kept pushing him away and he kept saying: "We met at church, not in a club. I'm not dangerous, we are like family," according to details in the judgment grounds.

The woman, who comes from a traditional background, said in a victim impact statement that the incident "gave me a big slap on my face at 21 years old".

She added: "I'm totally lost in my life since it happened. I'm jobless. I can't focus on my study."

She also said that she feels no one, including her family, understands her ordeal and can help her through it.

Chia, the eldest of four siblings from a relatively affluent family, attended school in Singapore, did hospitality management and his military service before heading to Australia in 1986, the judge noted.

In 1996, The New Paper reported that he was jailed for three years in Melbourne for cheating eight people of A$77,997 and stealing a rented car.

He was then aged 35 and an Australian permanent resident.

The judge, calling him a "cruel conman", said: "You've cruelly cheated these girls to satisfy your gambling habit (and) caused them considerable burden, embarassment... and psychological trauma."

Source: Straits Times © Singapore Press Holdings Ltd. Permission required for reproduction.

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