Customers required to check age of prostitutes in Singapore

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Customers are responsible for confirming that any prostitutes in Singapore they patronize are legal adults. It seems the local law requires that they even check identification. While prostitution is legal in Singapore, paying for sex with a minor certainly is not. This report from The Star Online tells you all you need to know about the subject.

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.

A report on a completely different case seems to confirm that the onus for checking the age of prostitutes in Singapore falls on the customers.

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.

Women who work in Geylang’s legal and regulated brothels can be expected to be of legal age. Those venues are supposedly visited by government inspectors and authorized to operate by law. Some even argue that they offer the only legal prostitution in Singapore.

I am not a legal expert, especially when it comes to Singapore. I do know that adult men should avoid women who are not of age. That should go without saying. These reports are still notable.

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  1. Sydmick July 19, 2013
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