Singaporean man faces 11 years in jail, lashes for raping 12-year-old
A Formula One car powers through the chicane in front of the Old Supreme Court building during the first practice session for the Singapore F1 Grand Prix, September 26, 2008 Reuters

A Singaporean man has been found guilty of raping a 12-yeard-old girl he met through social media.

The prosecution has asked the High Court, which pronounced him guilty, to award 11 years in jail and six cane lashes to the 39-year-old, a crane operator.

The court heard that Lee Seow Peng lured the girl, who is unnamed, after meeting her on a mobile phone messaging application. He raped her 12 days after meeting her.

The culprit was also found guilty of two charges of sexual molestation and another for forcing her to perform an indecent sexual act.

The victim, who told Lee she was 13 years old, agreed to be "his girlfriend' and meet him. Lee picked her up from her school and drove to a car park where she had sexual intercourse with her in the vehicle.

They continued to keep in touch and Lee was trying to arrange another meeting when the girl's mother discovered the messages on her phone.

Lee said in his defence he didn't know the girl was a minor and that they had only chatted in the car. The judge threw out both the arguments as 'unbelievable'.

The prosecution said Lee's inability to consider the victim's 'young and tender age' was an aggravating factor, Channel News Asia reported.

"Even though the accused was more than two decades older than the victim, he did not display the maturity our society would expect of an adult in protecting a vulnerable child," the prosecution said.