News report taken from today’s copy of The New Paper 😦 Yes this happened here in Singapore, and it’s just AWFUL AWFUL AWFUL… *sigh*
|Magician, 68, molests 12-year-old apprentice|
|HIS GIVEAWAY: Being seen naked in flat with boy
HIS PREY: Boy who wants to learn magic tricks
|THEY met while he was performing at a National Day carnival.|
|17 May 2009|
THEY met while he was performing at a National Day carnival.
The 12-year-old was enchanted by Soh Song Soon, 68, a freelance magician, and wanted to learn magic tricks from him.
They became so close that the boy addressed him as his godfather.
Then, less than a year later, Soh began sexually abusing the boy at his flat.
And if wasn’t for a resident living in the opposite block, his vile acts might not have come to light.
On 16 Aug last year, the resident, a 26-year-old woman, called the police after she spotted Soh walking naked around his flat in Ang Mo Kio.
The police found the boy inside the flat and Soh confessed that he had performed oral sex on him.
Yesterday, Soh pleaded guilty to four charges of sexual penetration of a minor.
Fifteen similar charges will be taken into consideration during sentencing.
The court heard that Soh met the boy and his father at the carnival in Ang Mo Kio in August 2007.
After his performance, Soh offered to teach the boy magic tricks, and his father gave his permission.
From then on, the boy went to Soh’s flat on weekends and would sometimes stay overnight. He became Soh’s assistant and followed him to various performances.
At around 10.40pm on 16 Aug last year, the woman called the police about a man ‘walking around the house totally naked’ in the opposite block.
When police officers arrived at her unit, she took them to her kitchen window, which overlooked Soh’s unit.
They saw a naked boy squatting in front of the naked Soh. They headed to Soh’s flat where he opened the door clad in a pair of black shorts.
Soh told the officers that he was alone at home, but one officer heard the sound of a door closing inside the flat.
He asked to go inside and found the boy, wearing only a pair of long black pants, in a bedroom.
Soh denied having done anything to the boy when questioned, but eventually admitted that he had performed oral sex on the boy.
Earlier that day, the boy had assisted Soh at his magic show at a condominium in Tanjong Rhu. They then went for dinner and watched a movie before returning to Soh’s flat at 10pm.
After they showered separately, Soh sexually abused the boy.
Court papers revealed that Soh had started abusing the boy barely a year after they first met.
According to court papers, Soh lavished gifts of toys, clothes and school shoes on the boy. He also gave the boy pocket money periodically and treated the boy to meals regularly.
In July last year, using his own handphone camera, Soh took naked pictures of the boy.
Dr Cai Yiming, senior consultant psychiatrist of the Child Guidance Clinic at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), who interviewed the boy, said he was ‘capable of knowing the nature of these acts but did not fully realise the consequences of the alleged offence’.
Dr Cai added that he has arranged for the boy to receive counselling from a psychologist at IMH.
The hearing was adjourned to a later date. For committing sexual penetration of a minor, Soh can be jailed for 20 years and caned on each charge.
I read the news article above with a very heavy heart What Soh did is so not cool. As entertainers, more so, for families and kids… he completely broke the trust given to him by his ‘godson’ and his parents. A very similar case occurred some months back in USA but I didn’t think any fellow magician would do that here, in sunny Singapore.
A former member of our International Brotherhood of Magic group here, the man’s commonly known by his English name in our circles, and he’s a veteran who’s been doing kids magic for YEARS. To be honest, I think most people would say he was a nice kindly old gentleman. So that’s what makes it so unexpectedly sad and tragically disappointing that Soh turned out to be a child predator. His young victim completely trusted him.
What happened to the boy was unfair and cruel, but from the bottom of my heart, I hope this innocent child will be able to put this horrible past behind him and that it doesn’t become a dark ugly stain which affects him for the rest of his life. I mean, geez. The child’s only 12 and he’s got along way more to go… you know?
So parents, please be very very very wary when it comes to these things. Never be complacent and don’t ever put too much trust in people way too soon. As endearing as they may be, such family entertainers are still strangers and very unfortunately, Soh proved to be a classic case of the mean wolf in sheep’s skin and his paedophilic acts may have gone unnoticed forever if he hadn’t been caught. Personally, I’m glad he’s getting professional aid now from qualified shrinks who can help him.
Thanks to Adeline aka Kinetic Gal for giving me the heads-up on this.