SINGAPORE - Before she became the prey of lustful men who prowl the lorongs of Geylang, the young girl from China underwent a hellish initiation of drugs, rape and beatings to turn her into a prostitute.
In sentencing three Singaporean men to 11 weeks' jail each for having commercial sex with the underage prostitute, District Judge Low Wee Ping on Wednesday repeatedly called the facts of the case "heartbreaking" and "horrific".
The three were among 24 men accused of having paid sex with her. More men are expected to face similar charges.
Explaining why the law takes a serious view of such offences, he told one of the accused, Low Kia How, 50, that by being at the end of the supply chain, "you are a consumer of what we call international trafficking of a minor for prostitution".
This is the heart-rending story of the girl's ordeal, as told in court on Wednesday:
Stuck with father's debts
When her father died from cancer in October 2011, he had racked up about 100,000 yuan (S$20,000) in loans from relatives and illegal moneylenders for his medical treatment.
Left to repay the debts, her mother became an odd job labourer, earning 3,000 yuan a month while the girl made about 1,000 yuan washing hair in a salon in her hometown in Shandong, China.
They could barely make ends meet, so the girl's employer Yi Hui suggested that she go to Macau to work in a casino.
In January this year, she went to Macau with Yi Hui, who introduced her to Tang Huiying.
When she found out the girl was only 17, she said she was too young to work in a casino, but she could solicit for VIP customers outside the casinos and earn a commission by helping the VIPs cash in money in exchange for chips
But first she would need to go to nearby Zhuhai on the mainland to learn how to solicit for customers from Tang's brother.