10 men charged with having commercial sex with 16-year-old girl

Ten men were charged in court on Wednesday with having paid sex with a 16-year-old girl.

Three indicated that they would be pleading guilty to their respective charges while the rest had their cases adjourned.

A total of 12 men allegedly had commercial sex with the same girl, a student, who cannot be named due to a gag order.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Stella Tan told the court that one of them, American senior manager Payton Scott Velo, 44, is warded at Institute of Mental Health after he tried to commit suicide on Tuesday evening.

The other - a 43-year-old Singaporean businessman - has not been charged.

The three who will be pleading guilty are: Alvin Chen Zi You formerly known as Tan Zi You, 32, bellhop Muhammad Ibrahim, 25, and technician Muhammad Sufyan Misbari, 31.

Chen and Muhammad will be back in court on Wednesday afternoon while Sufyan will return to court on Thursday for further mention.

The others charged are: driver Babu Suppiah, 32, technician Dzul Hilmie Ramli, 32, supervisor Sudirman Yuri, 38, full-time national serviceman Abu Shah Mohamed Abdul Mutalif 22, Myanmar engineer Lu Maw, 33, financial consultant Khoo Yi Xuan, 24, and technician Mohamed Yazid Bashir, 28.

The 10 allegedly paid between $180 and $400 for the girl's sexual services at hotels or their homes between Oct 19 last year, and March 1 this year.

Meanwhile, in a related case, a pre-trial conference against the alleged pimp Malcolm Graham Head, 32, his girlfriend Veronica Patricia Rio, 18, and three others was held on Wednesday. The next PTC is on July 10.

Head faces 41 charges of vice- and drug-related offences, abetting 15 clients to have commercial sex with a minor under 18, robbery with hurt, causing hurt and causing grievous hurt.

Join ST's Telegram channel and get the latest breaking news delivered to you.