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Increasing cases of S’porean minors prostituting themselves online

Lawyer: “What is scary is the girls are below 16”

#QUICKREAD

According to three criminal lawyers The New Paper (TNP) spoke to, there is an increasing number of minors offering sex online.

“Some of it is under-reported. That is the disturbing part. Unless they are being traced or there is a tip-off, they are not reported.”

– Criminal lawyer, Rajan Supramaniam

Sex for gifts or money

Most cases involved minors offering sex in return for luxury gifts or money. Some were influenced under peer pressure from gangs.

A girl started the practice when she was 15 because she felt neglected by her parents who were often away from home for work. She has had at least eight sexual partners since then, even going as far as buying them gifts.

Andrea Chan, senior counsellor at Touch Youth Intervention, said young people emboldened by the discretion that the internet provides, are less averse to using sex for monetary gains.

Counsellors believe the constant need for external validation pushes young girls to extremes.

“There are more every year. What is scary is the girls are below 16… They should respect themselves. They are not a commodity and need to be educated.”

– Criminal lawyer Gloria James-Civetta

Man jailed for attempting to obtain commercial sex from a minor

Last week, a 42-year-old man was jailed for three months for offering a 16-year old girl $500 for sex. He was responding to the girl’s online advertisement offering sexual services.

Unlawful

Under the law, it is an offence to have sex with a minor under 16 and to have commercial sex with a person under 18. Having commercial sex with a minor carries a penalty of up to seven years in jail, a fine, or both.

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