Web Stories Friday, February 23

SINGAPORE — An 18-year-old who advertised the sexual services of two underage girls on Telegram was sentenced to at least six months’ reformative training on Tuesday (Jan 23).

Reformative training is a comprehensive rehabilitation programme at a reformative training centre that is an alternative sentencing option for offenders aged between 14 and 21.

The Indian national, a Singapore permanent resident, pleaded guilty in November last year to two charges under the Women’s Charter Act and two charges under the Prevention of Human Trafficking Act.

He also pleaded guilty to one charge of abetting to obtain the sexual services of a person, and one charge for obstructing the course of justice.

Another seven similar charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The teen, along with the two female victims, cannot be named under a court order to protect the victims’ identities.

ADVERTISING UNDERAGE GIRLS

Sometime in July 2022, the offender became a member of “SG XTRA Services” on Telegram where he was allowed to post advertisements in the chat.

He was approached by the first victim, then 16, a hawker assistant, who asked him to recommend jobs that paid “fast cash” to her.

The offender told her that he found a “high paying job” requiring her to provide “full services”.

After explaining that it would mean providing sexual services to potential customers, the teen added that he would help her advertise her sexual services through a Telegram chat group and procure customers for her.

The offender also promised that the first victim would earn up to S$500 from each booking but would be need to pay him S$100 as commission for each successful booking.

She agreed and the offender then asked for sexually provocative photographs of her as well as her height, weight and bra cup size for her advertisement.

Between July 2022 and April 2023, the offender advertised the first victim as a 17-year-old “xmm” social escort willing to provide “one shot” services for a fee of S$400 to S$550.

She then introduced the offender to the second victim, then 17, who was also interested in providing sexual services to earn money.

Around the same time, the offender had become the administrator of “SG XTRA Services”.

He explained the process to the second victim which included her having to offer paid sexual intercourse to customers that he would procure for her.

The teen told both girls to accept only cash payments and to engage in sexual intercourse with a condom, that had to be procured by the customers.

DELETING TELEGRAM CHATS

On April 4 last year, after the first victim warned him that police had compromised the operation, the offender changed the Telegram group chat’s name to “SG Clothes”, and logged out of the account that he used for the advertisements.

He also deleted his Telegram chats with his customers in his tablet and mobile phone.

The offender later admitted to police that he did so to evade police detection.

However, investigators from the specialised crime branch were unable to access his account for investigations as the offender claimed to have forgotten his account password.

Investigations revealed that sometime in January 2023, both victims had delayed paying their commissions to him.

He then offered to waive their outstanding commission with the girls if they had sexual intercourse with him.

The victims did not take him up on his offer and later made payments to the offender.

He was arrested on April 4, 2023 after the two victims were interviewed following a police report made by their customer.

Anyone guilty of recruiting a child for the purpose of exploitation could be jailed for up to 10 years and fined up to S$100,000 with up to six strokes of the cane.

Anyone guilty of receiving gratification for aiding the prostitution of another person could be jailed for up to seven years and fined up to S$100,000.

Anyone guilty of obstruction of justice could be jailed for up to seven years or fined, or both.

Anyone guilty of abetting to obtain the sexual services of a person under 18 could be jailed for up to seven years or fined, or both.

Anyone guilty of managing the provision of sexual services could be jailed for up to five years or fined up to S$100,000, or both.

When an offender sentenced to reformative training serves the minimum detention period and completes the required rehabilitation programmes, he will be reviewed by a committee to determine if he is suitable for release under a supervision order.

Customers of the two victims would be dealt with separately, court documents stated.

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