A 34-year-old was yesterday jailed for 10 weeks for having paid sex with an underage prostitute.
Loh Ben-Ni was one of 51 men charged with having sex with the 17-year-old in a high-profile vice ring case, which has been going on since 2012. He pleaded guilty to paying $500 for the girl's services on Nov 6, 2010.
The offence took place at Hotel 81 Lavender in Lavender Street, between 6.27pm and 8.02pm. The girl operated under a monicker in an online vice ring run by pimp Tang Boon Thiew, 41, who was jailed for four years and 10 months and fined $90,000 for vice-related offences.
Investigations revealed that Loh had booked the sexual services of escorts on many occasions after looking at their advertisements on an online forum.
He contacted Tang after chancing on a thread that listed the girl.
Loh's lawyer, Ms Diana Ngiam, said he had not set out wanting to engage the sexual services of a minor. He had asked the minor what her age was but stopped short of checking her identity card.
She accepted that a fine would not be appropriate punishment, but called for a jail term of less than nine weeks for her client.
She added that Loh was placed on probation when he was 18 years old over a rioting incident, but this was unrelated and dated.
Loh was also fined $10,000 after pleading guilty to an unrelated count of forgery, committed on Dec 3, when he was a recruitment agent for a private school.
Most of the other 40 offenders dealt with so far were jailed for between nine and 12 weeks. The maximum penalty for commercial sex with a person under 18 years of age is seven years' jail and a fine.
This article was first published on September 03, 2014.
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