Former girlfriend of online vice ring pimp gets reformative training

The former girlfriend of an online vice ring pimp was on Monday sentenced to reformative training for her involvement in offences relating to his business - including abetting clients to have sex with a 16-year-old, and living on prostitutes' earnings.

Veronica Patricia Rio, 19, also beat up the minor one night in 2012 with then boyfriend Malcolm Graham Head when she returned late to Rio's home.

Together with Head and three others, Rio - then pregnant with his child - assaulted a French client at his Marina Bay Residences unit the following (2013) March after a dispute over the type of sexual service to be given, leaving him with a broken jaw and a black eye.

On Monday, District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim sentenced Rio to reformative training - a strict regime for offenders below age 21 who will undergo structured rehabilitation programmes - after she pleaded guilty last month to 15 charges, with another 24 taken into consideration.

The proceeded charges also included those of procuring women to prostitute them, managing a brothel and voluntarily causing grievous hurt.

Head, who had previously spent some nine years in jail for other offences, was sentenced last month to seven years of corrective training and seven strokes of the cane. He was also given a 16-year driving ban for ignoring a 12-year disqualification.

Two other co-accused who helped to beat up their client, a product line manager, were sentenced last year to reformative training and jail respectively for their involvement and separate offences. A third will be dealt with after she jumped bail but was caught.

Eight clients of this vice ring have been dealt with for having commercial sex with a minor under 18, which carries a maximum penalty of seven years in jail and a fine.

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