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Unrepentant Filipino jailed 6 years for thrice molesting young girl

29 May 2024

The judge said the defendant showed no remorse at all for molesting the young girl

A visibly irked High Court judge sent a Filipino electronics engineer to six years in jail for three counts of indecent assault on the young daughter of his former live-in partner, which started when the victim was just seven years old.

Joel Tiquia, 51, sobbed loudly as he was berated repeatedly by Judge Andrew Chan, who said he showed no remorse at all for what he did to his victim.

Judge Chan even said at the outset that he was not inclined to give Tiquia a one-third discount in his sentence for pleading guilty to his crimes after he told the doctor who prepared a psychiatric report on him that the girl was to blame for what he did.


“You see, he placed all the blame on the victim,” said the judge, who then went on to quote Tiquia as saying that the indecent assaults happened due to “the persistent request by the victim.”

“This defendant has no remorse whatsoever. Why should I give him a one-third discount?” said the angry judge.

He also said that what Tiquia did to the girl in the worst of the three cases amounted to attempted rape, causing the girl, called X in the proceedings, irreparable harm.

“In plain language, X’s life has been ruined,” said the judge.

He imposed a nine-year starting point for the sentence – just a year off the prescribed maximum jail term of 10 years – and after some hesitation, gave the standard one-third discount, resulting in six years’ imprisonment.

Reading off the facts, the judge said Tiquia met the victim’s mother in September 2016, and after dating her for a few months, moved in with her and her daughter in a flat in Caribbean Coast, Tung Chung.

In April 2017, while X was at home alone with him, Tiquia asked her to go to the room with him, and proceeded to touch her breast over her clothes for about 15 minutes. He then warned her not to tell anyone about what he did.

In May 2018, Tiquia told the girl to go to her room, then proceeded to take off her clothes, before telling her to lie on the bed. He then took off his own clothes, bent down on the bed, and rubbed his penis on her naked body. The whole incident lasted between one to one-and-a-half hours.

On Oct. 6, 2021, when X was already 11 years old, Tiquia went into her room, touched her breast, and proceeded to molest her. He then inserted his finger into her private parts, hurting her in the process. This made the girl push him away. The incident lasted about 45 minutes.

Two weeks later, X learned about sexual abuse in her class, and she told her mother about the incidents. The case was immediately reported to the police.

Tiquia was originally charged with four counts of indecent assault, and he pleaded guilty to three of them. The fourth charge, which allegedly happened in 2019, was later left on file.

He first appeared in court a year after the last sexual attack occurred, but admitted his guilt only nearly two years later.

The judge said the defendant used to work as an electronics engineer earning $45,000 a month. He has two sons.

He also had two previous convictions for similar cases, which he committed against a woman whom he touched inappropriately on a bus in 2016.

Reading out the victim impact report, the judge said the assaults had a profound impact on X, who has been having a sense of helplessness, and a feeling that she will have to bear the trauma for the rest of her life.

Despite this, Tiquia has put all the blame on his victim, said the judge. “He has exhibited no remorse. The defendant has no shame,” he said.

In the most serious offences, in the second and third charges, Tiquia subjected X to “inhumane and degrading treatment,” said the judge.

Being a father figure to the girl during those times, he grossly abused the trust placed on him by the girl and her mother, he added.

The sentencing started with Tiquia’s lawyer telling the court that the defendant wanted to delete the statements he made to the doctor who prepared the psychiatric report, and to apologize for what he said.

But Judge Chan said this could not be done, and that as far as the court was concerned, the defendant had shown no remorse at all.

Because of this, he said he was not inclined to give any discount in the sentence.

The defence counsel reminded the judge that Tiquia had pleaded guilty to the offences at the magistrate’s level, sparing the victim of the ordeal of testifying in court. He also said that if a defendant agreed to the facts of the case then it showed he was remorseful.

Not satisfied with this, Judge Chan turned to the prosecutor to ask for his opinion. In response, the prosecutor read out from a written judgment which indicated that remorse is subsumed in the defendant’s guilty plea.

Tiquia had been out on bail until last month, when the judge ordered him put behind bars pending the submission of psychiatric and psychological reports on him.

At the time, his lawyer said Tiquia’s eldest son was in court to support him, while his wife and younger son, as well as some colleagues, submitted letters asking the court for a lenient sentence.

The lawyer suggested a starting point for the sentence of between four and five years. However, Section 122 (1) of Crimes Ordinance of Hong Kong provides a maximum sentence of 10 years’ imprisonment for a crime of indecent assault.

Under the same law, a person under the age of 16 is considered incapable of giving consent to such an act.

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