Anyone who agrees to give a woman money in exchange for sexual services in Singapore is legally responsible to make sure she is an adult by checking identification according to local law. While prostitution is legal, paying for sex with someone under the age of 18 absolutely is not. This report tells you all you need to know:
HE TURNS 56 today, but Yeo Joo Meng will be celebrating his birthday behind bars after he was sentenced to four months in jail for having sex with an underage Vietnamese prostitute.
The warehouse assistant yesterday became the third man to be convicted of sleeping with the 16-year-old. Yeo pleaded guilty to paying her $100 for their tryst at a Geylang hotel.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sabrina Choo told the court he met the girl at a coffee shop in the Geylang area in late 2010.
Noticing that she looked young, he asked for her age and she replied that she was 20. He told her she looked only 18 or 19 and asked to see her passport, but she refused.
They had sex in July last year after she quoted him $100. The pair went to a hotel called The Sunflower for their tryst.
Yeo was arrested on Aug 18, about 2 1/2 weeks after the girl was picked up for suspected vice activities in Geylang.
Pleading for leniency, lawyer Andrew Tan said his client was gullible and believed her when she said she was older than 18, the legal age of consent for prostitutes in Singapore. He added that by pleading guilty, Yeo had brought closure to the case and saved the court’s valuable time.
A second charge was taken into consideration. Yeo could have been jailed for up to seven years, fined or both.
Former Singapore Land Authority executive Kum Chin Tiong, 57, has already been jailed for nine months for having sex with the girl. Security consultant Winson Chan Swee Teck, 49, was sentenced to four months.
It is apparently up to the customer to determine the actual age of the prostitute, as this report on a separate case explains:
Prostitution is generally allowed here, but having paid sex with a girl under 18 is a crime under laws that were tightened in 2008. The maximum penalty is a seven-year jail term and a fine.
Those are the rules. They may sound obvious enough but for some they obviously weren’t. Women who work in Geylang’s legal and regulated brothels are all of age since they are checked by the government but women who work the streets may not be and obviously must be avoided by all men.