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Nine weeks jail for man who had sex with minor

A man was sentenced to nine weeks jail on Tuesday for engaging in commercial sex with a minor who had been forced into prostitution.

SINGAPORE: A man was sentenced to nine weeks jail on Tuesday for engaging in commercial sex with a minor who had been forced into prostitution.

Ernest Lee Min Chong, aged 25, admitted to paying S$60 to the minor from China, who was then 17 years old, for sex at a hotel in Geylang in May last year.

Lee is the 24th man to be sentenced for having paid sex with the minor. 

Then an undergraduate at the Nanyang Technological University, Lee had gone to Geylang to buy dinner.

He was approached by the girl who offered him paid sexual services for S$60.

While he had asked for her age, he took her word that she was 20 years old and did not take other steps to verify it.

The girl was arrested on 1 June 2013 in the vicinity of Lorong 22 Geylang on suspicion that she had been providing commercial sex to men.

Investigations revealed that her father passed away from cancer in October 2011.

The minor and her mother had to shoulder a debt of RMB 100,000 (approximately S$20,000), which they had borrowed from relatives and illegal moneylenders for his earlier treatment.

The minor was then tricked into meeting 37-year-old Chinese national Tang Huisheng whom she thought could help her get work.

Instead, she was drugged and forced to have sex with him.

Tang later brought her to Singapore to work as a prostitute.

In the mitigation plea, Lee's lawyer pointed out that Lee was still young and had just completed his education.

The court also heard that Lee was under emotional stress at that time as he had fought with his parents.

Lee intends to appeal against his sentence.

He has been released on S$10,000 bail, pending his appeal against the sentence.

The maximum penalty for obtaining commercial sex from a person below 18 is a jail term of seven years and a fine.  

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