Parliament: Govt reviewing whether to raise penalties for sex offences on minors

Joshua Robinson was sentenced to four years' jail for consensual sex with two underage girls and showing an obscene clip to a six-year-old girl, among other offences.
Joshua Robinson was sentenced to four years' jail for consensual sex with two underage girls and showing an obscene clip to a six-year-old girl, among other offences. ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - Offenders who commit sexual crimes on minors could face harsher penalties in future, with a review on these laws underway.

Law and Home Affairs Minister K. Shanmugam told Parliament on Monday (April 3): "My own personal view is this there is certainly reasonable basis for taking the view that the punishments have to be stiffer.

"How that needs to be arrived at, that you necessarily have to legislate, or you have to relook some of the processes, policies," he said.

He was responding MP Tin Pei Ling (Macpherson) who asked whether the Government would review laws to boost punishments for such crimes on minors.

The review comes after mixed martial arts instructor Joshua Robinson was last month sentenced to four years' jail for consensual sex with two underage girls and showing an obscene clip to a six-year-old girl, among other offences.

 
 
 

His sentence had been perceived by many, including lawyers, to be lenient, and sparked public debate on the issue.

On Monday, Mr Shanmugam told the House that the Government will study whether to add new laws or stiffen penalties for sexual crimes on minors, as part of an ongoing review of the Penal Code and Criminal Procedure Code.