Thursday, April 19, 2012

1 Girl and 48 Men: The Underage Online Vice Scandal in Singapore



48 men have been charged in Singapore for having paid sex with an underage escort. (Above: A parody of a screenshot of the social escort website.) The men aged 21 to 48, include a former police superintendent, military officers, a lawyer, businessmen, people in finance and other professions. The girl who was advertised as an 18 year old on a social escort website turned out to be 17 when she had sex with those men. It is illegal to have paid sex with someone who is under 18 in Singapore. The girl's identity has been withheld by the courts but even a gag order couldn't prevent her pics and name being circulated on popular Singapore web forums and Facebook. Her name was even one of the most searched items on Google today according to Google Trends.



(Above: The actual booking page for the hardcore underage prostitute.) We all pay for sex one way or another. These men paid for it in cash (prostitution is legal in Singapore) expecting to be serve by an 18 year old but were terribly misled and now they have to suffer the consequences of their actions while the girl is being protected by law because she is under 18 and will most likely escape any form of punishment.



And that saddens me. It is one thing to protect a minor but the law is there not only to convict people who do the crime but also to prevent the crime from happening in the first place. This very much publicised case involving the underage girl and the more than 40 men will not deter underage prostitution in Singapore but encourages it. Girls who are 16, 17 now know they can get away with it by getting into prostitution to earn easy money and lying about their age. They are untouchable and the men they serve become the victims.

In Singapore, you are old enough to have sex when you turn 16 but the law doesn't think that you have fair decision making skills to sell your body for sex until you are 18. Something is seriously wrong here.

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