A Howard County Circuit Court judge has sentenced a 43-year-old Pasadena man to 15 years in prison for sexually abusing his girlfriend's young niece over two years in his Ellicott City office.
Judge Lenore R. Gelfman gave Lye Huat Ong of the 8200 block of Meadow Wick Court two 15-year sentences -- with all but five years suspended on each -- on two charges of sexual child abuse, and 20 years -- with all but 15 years suspended -- on a second-degree sexual offense charge. All are to be served concurrently.
Gelfman admonished Ong, who has a degree in electrical engineering from the Johns Hopkins University and once worked for Georgetown University in Washington, for "robbing [the victim] of her childhood."
According to a psychologist's report submitted to Gelfman, the Howard County child, now 17, is unable to cope with social situations and build relationships. "She was a little girl, and he asked her to perform as an adult woman," Gelfman said. "Mr. Ong, you all but vaporized this child. You made her almost all but gone."
Starting in 1990, Ong took the victim to his business, Digitron Inc. in the 8700 block of Town & Country Boulevard, where he made her perform various sex acts on him in the office's lunch room, according to police reports.
Ong -- who was developing a soy-protein drink at his office, according to his attorney -- reportedly videotaped some of the acts and showed the girl pornographic magazines.
Ong was charged in September 1997 on several counts of sexual child abuse, perverted practices and sexual offenses. Police seized more than 3,000 videotapes, seven video cameras and pornographic magazines from Ong's home.
In the police report, the victim's aunt said she thought Ong had an "unusually close relationship" with her niece, whom she sometimes watched on weekends. She described it as "unusual for a grown man to be so interested in a little girl he was unrelated to."
Ong is awaiting trial in Anne Arundel County on charges of sexual child abuse that is alleged to have occurred at his home. The alleged victim is not the girl in the Howard County case.
In a tearful plea to Gelfman, Ong apologized to the victim and her family members who were in the courtroom.
"I have let [her family] down," he said. "I take full responsibility for what I did. I can't ask for them to understand or forgive. This is the lowest point in my life."
Pub Date: 12/13/98