First jail term for sex with underage prostitute cut on appeal

February 20th, 2009 - 4:43 pm ICT by IANS  

Singapore, Feb 20 (DPA) The first man in Singapore to be sentenced for having sex with an underage prostitute under a tougher law had his one-year jail term reduced Friday to nine months on appeal, media reports said.
In December, a district court had initially sentenced the 55-year-old man to one year in jail for having sex with a 16-year-old prostitute.

The contractor, Tan Chye Hin, a father of three children, was the first man in the city state to be dealt with under a new law the Singapore government put in place in February last year to crack down on underage prostitution.

The tougher law carries a maximum jail sentence of seven years and a fine for paying for sex with someone below the age of 18, the legal age of consent for commercial sex.

On Friday, a Justice at Singapore High Court allowed the appeal of the contractor against his initial sentence, the online edition of the Straits Times newspaper reported.

The defendant had argued that it was only fair that he gets a shorter jail term than the pimp who arranged the hook-up for him. The pimp was jailed for one year.

The justice also took into account that the contractor’s crime was a new offence and that greater publicity could have prevented him from committing it.

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