14 men charged with commercial sex with 17-year-old girl

Fourteen men were charged in court on Wednesday with having commercial sex with a 17-year-old girl. Ten of them have indicated that they would plead guilty while one has claimed trial.

The men, aged between 22 and 75 years old, allegedly paid the girl between $40 and $150 for sexual services at budget hotels and a lodging house in Geylang between May 18 and 31 this year.

The ones pleading guilty are: cleaners Low Kia How, 51, 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, book-keeper 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.

The ones admitting to the charges will return to court on either Sept 11, 12 or Oct 2. The maximum penalty for engaging in commercial sex with a girl under 18 is seven years' jail and a fine.

Lim Chee Seng, 72, who claimed to paying $150 for the girl's services at BudgetOne Hotel in Lorong 18 Geylang on May 28, had his case adjourned to Oct 28

The cases against undergraduate Ernest Lee Min Chong, 25, IT manager Shoh Kwan Heng, 42, treasury adviser Ho Chee Keong, 36, who are represented by lawyers, are fixed for mention on Oct 2. All had their police bails of $15,000 extended and their passports have been impounded.