The Singapore police have arrested 25-year-old AR Arun Prashanth on Tuesday for allegedly sexually abusing minor girls between 12 and 15 for two years. The Indian-origin former national serviceman, Prashanth lured underage girls online and involved them in sexual acts, Business Standard reported.

He also allegedly took vulgar pictures of around 700 women, Strait Times reported. During a hearing of the matter, District Judge Kessler Soh said, “I hope you realise that what you had done had caused serious harm to the five young girls.”

Prashanth committed sexual crimes with a total of five girls out of which, he raped three girls. Last month on July 31 he pleaded guilty of raping a minor, and sexually assaulting another underage girl. He also admitted to four counts of insulting a woman’s modesty. These seven charges involved two minors and four unknown women.

He has also been charged with 21 other cases all of which pertain to sexual crimes against women. He committed similar offenses with three other young girls and several unknown women. Their statements were considered during sentencing. His victims cannot be named due to a gag order, the report said.

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Around February and March 2016, Prashanth started to send sexually inappropriate messages to a minor and on two occasions he even told her that he was a policeman. “The accused pestered her for naked pictures or videos of herself showering. He also pressed her to meet him at his house or hotels for “cuddles” or sexual intercourse. The girl felt harassed by the accused and she would try to ignore him. However, she would feel bad for not replying and she replied at times,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min.

In another incident, he took the number of a minor girl from a WhatsApp group chat in 2016 and started messaging her on her personal chat in October of the same year. He told her that he was from the Home Team (A section of the police force) and asked her age. So, she had to tell him that she was 14 years old. He started pressurizing her to meet him but she denied and then blocked him as his consistent messages became “very annoying”. The Deputy Public Prosecutor told the court that despite the girl’s apparent discomfort, Prashanth continued messaging her on Instagram.

During a hearing of the matter, District Judge Kessler Soh said, “I hope you realise that what you had done had caused serious harm to the five young girls.”

On February 3, 2017, she told Prashanth on a text message that she would be playing truant and he invited her to his home in Hume Avenue near Upper Bukit Timah Road in suburb northern Singapore. He allegedly sexually assaulted her at his house after which she went to the police the same day. A day later, he was apprehended from his home. The cops found 720 up skirt photographs of unknown women on his mobile phone during an investigation.

As soon as the girl came out of his house, the driver saw her in a trembling state which is when he asked her what happened. She told him about the sexual assault and he drove her to Sembawang Neighbourhood Police Centre to file a complaint.

While the DPP urged the court to at least sentence him for two years in imprisonment, Prashanth’s advocates Edmond Pereira and Harjeet Kaur sought 20 months of jail stating in his plea that he was a first-time offender.

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