Underage sex case: Retiree, 75, jailed for 12 weeks

You were willing buyers, but she was not a willing seller.

As such, the sex services offered by the underage prostitute were actually a case of "forced prostitution".

Those were the words of District Judge Low Wee Ping on Thursday as he read out the sentences of three Singaporean men and a Chinese national for having commercial sex with the girl.

The New Paper reported on Thursday that the young girl from China had gone through a hellish initiation of drugs, rape and beatings to turn her into a prostitute.

On Thursday, Chong Kwong Ann, 75 - the oldest of the 19 men who were charged last week - was packed off to jail for 12 weeks.

Chong said he had asked the girl twice for her age and pleaded for leniency due to health concerns.

Judge Low noted the retiree's age and highlighted the age gap of 58 years between Chong and the minor, who was 17 at the time of the offence.

Chong had committed the offence twice, the court heard.

Bookkeeper Tiah Oon Kai, 66, and Chinese national Li Weichao, 42, were also jailed for 12 weeks on Thursday. Toh Toh Loh, 60, a labourer, was jailed for 11 weeks.

A fifth man, full-time national serviceman Yap Jun Hao, 22, also pleaded guilty on Thursday. But his defence asked for a postponement of the sentence to prepare mitigation and for him to undergo a psychiatric evaluation.

Judge Low also explained why the "police, other government agencies, prosecution and courts will no doubt relentlessly detect, prosecute and adjudicate this offence".

He said: "Unless the demand is eradicated and suppressed, cruel criminals will continue to find it lucrative and provide supply (of forced underage prostitutes).

"This court hopes (with) publication... of the shocking background of the minor... there will be persons of good conscience and a compassionate heart who will never, ever participate in this trade and commit this deplorable offence." .

It is illegal for anyone to engage in commercial sex with a minor who is below 18 years of age. Anyone found guilty can be jailed up to seven years and/or fined.

Of the 24 men accused of having sex with the underage prostitute, 11 have been jailed between 11 and 12 weeks.

This is the third high-profile underage vice ring scandal here in two years.

At least two more people are expected to plead guilty today. Tang Huisheng, the girl's pimp, is scheduled to go on trial this month.

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