Underage sex scandal: Former principal given 9-week jail sentence

The former principal of Pei Chun Public School Lee Lip Hong has been given a nine-week jail sentence for paying for sex with an underage girl.

Lee, 39, who pleaded guilty in court today, said he was fully ashamed of his actions. He said it has caused much harm and pain to his family, especially his wife, reported a local news outlet.

One of the first to plead guilty, he admitted to one of two charges of having paid for sex with the girl, 17, for $500 at Hotel 81 Bencoolen on Sept 26, 2010. His other charge was considered for sentencing.

He reportedly broke down in court as his lawyer pleaded for leniency.

His lawyer, Melanie Ho, told the court that Lee was misled about the girl's age. He had availed of her services from the online vice website run by the girl's pimp, Tang Boon Thiew.

The Straits Times reported that on September 26, he sent Tang an SMS to ask if the girl was available. After agreeing to the details set forth by the pimp, Lee booked a room at Hotel 81 and had sex with the girl between 7 to 8pm. He paid her $500, which includes a $50 tip.

Ms Ho said that while the girl's age was advertised as 18 years old on the website, Lee was told by Tang that she was 19 years old when they met. He was said to have had no reason to doubt this due to her appearance and behaviour.

She said he was remorseful, understanding that he had made a serious mistake.

Lee said that his personal lack of control of his own moral standards, coupled with being unable to resist temptation, led to his mistake.

His lawyer had pleaded for a fine to be imposed.

Lee could have been fined and/or jailed for up to seven years.


ellenja@sph.com.sg

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