- POSTED: 12 Sep 2013 18:19
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A district court on Thursday sentenced four more men to jail for having paid sex with an underage girl.
SINGAPORE: A district court on Thursday sentenced four more men to jail for having paid sex with an underage girl.
75-year-old retiree Chong Kwong Ann, 65-year-old book keeper Tiah Oon Kai and 42-year-old construction worker Li Weichao were each jailed 12 weeks, while 60-year-old labourer Toh Toh Loh was jailed 11 weeks.
A fifth man - 22-year-old Yap Jun Hao - pleaded guilty on Thursday but had sentencing adjourned to next month for him to obtain a psychiatric evaluation, and for his lawyer to prepare the mitigation.
The court heard that the girl, a Chinese national who was 17 at the time of the offences in May this year, had approached the men in Geylang.
They paid her between S$60 and S$70 for her sexual services, which took place at hotels in Geylang.
Of the five, four had asked for her age - which she gave as above 18 - though they did not take steps to verify this.
Earlier, the court heard that the girl had been forced to work as a prostitute in Singapore by her pimp Tang Huisheng, who has been charged and has indicated that he will claim trial.
In meting out the sentence, District Judge Low Wee Ping reinforced the point that this was a case of "forced prostitution - plain and simple".
"The sexual services you had with the minor was not consensual. You were a willing buyer, but she was not a willing seller," he noted.
The judge also emphasised that the men had participated in the "horrendous" trade of international trafficking of a minor for forced prostitution, and said that unless demand for such trade is eradicated or suppressed, the criminals behind such trade would find it lucrative to continue to take part.
The five who pleaded guilty on Thursday are part of a group of 24 men who have so far been charged with having paid sex with the minor.
It is the third vice ring to surface since the high-profile online vice ring involving 51 men broke in 2012.
Seven men have been sentenced so far in this vice ring.
If found guilty of obtaining the sexual services of a person under the age of 18, the men could be jailed seven years and fined.