Tougher laws needed against child porn

As a parent of an eight-year-old, I was appalled to learn that American Joshua Robinson, who had unprotected sex with minors, filmed the obscene acts, and was in possession of 321 films containing child pornography, was sentenced to just four years' imprisonment (Trainer jailed for sex with minors, making obscene videos; March 3).

The possession of obscene materials carries a jail term of up to three months, a fine, or both.

For the sexual grooming of a minor under the age of 16, Robinson could have been jailed for up to three years and fined.

He could also have been imprisoned for up to 10 years and fined for the sexual penetration of a minor under the age of 16.

So why was his sentence so lenient? It is hardly a deterrent to other offenders.

We need stiffer laws concerning child sex offenders, such as provisions addressing child pornography specifically.

Just five countries - Australia, Belgium, France, South Africa and the United States - have laws that make a significant impact on the possession of child pornography.

In Asia, Hong Kong is the only place which has laws against child porn in line with the recommendations set by the International Centre for Missing and Exploited Children.

Singapore can do so much more to protect its children.

A review of our laws against child sex offenders and the possession of child pornography is long overdue.

Dawn Marie Lee (Madam)

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 06, 2017, with the headline 'Tougher laws needed against child porn'. Print Edition | Subscribe