14 men charged in new underage sex case
FOURTEEN men aged between 22 and 75 were charged with having commercial sex with a minor yesterday in a new vice-ring case.
The girl in question was about a month shy of her 18th birthday when they allegedly paid between $40 and $150 for her sexual services at budget hotels and a lodging house in Geylang in May.
Ten indicated that they would plead guilty while one claimed trial. The other three had lawyers and have yet to make a plea.
Another group is expected in court tomorrow over offences relating to the same girl.
The ones pleading guilty are: cleaners Low Kia How, 51, and Koh Sui Kim, 65; social worker Ng Chak Song, 57; logistics supervisor Yeo Choon Seng, 42; full-time national serviceman Yap Jung Hao, 22; Chong Kwong Ann, 75; labourer Toh Toh Loh, 60; bookkeeper Tiah Onn Kai, 66; project manager Ng Keng Siong, 56; and assistant manager Ong Boon Hock, 61.
Keng Siong, Ong and Chong each faces two charges. Chong, the oldest man, is jobless. The ones admitting to the charges will return to court on either Sept 11, 12 or Oct 2.
Housekeeper Lim Chee Seng, 72, had his case adjourned to Oct 28.
The cases against undergraduate Ernest Lee Min Chong, 25; IT manager Shoh Kwan Heng, 42; and treasury adviser Ho Chee Keong, 36, have been fixed for mention on Oct 2.
The maximum penalty for commercial sex with any person under 18 years old is seven years in prison and a fine.
THE STRAITS TIMES