Mr Wang regrets to inform his readers that due to lack of time, he may not always be able to respond to all these emails nor to write about the relevant event here in this blog. But Mr Wang always finds your emails interesting, so keep them coming anyway.
Mr Wang's latest email is from Crumbs Crumby, who drew Mr Wang's attention to this Internet forum discussion about the case of a 14-year-old girl who systematically prostituted herself to various men, and then, for reasons best known to herself, went on to make a police report. Now, of course, the men are in trouble for having sex with an underaged girl.
Oct 19, 2005Crumbs Crumby has asked Mr Wang to comment. Here are Mr Wang's thoughts:
Cash-short girl, 14, asked boyfriend to get men for her
By Selina Lum
A 14-YEAR-OLD girl who needed money to pay her bills hit on a shocking solution: she asked her boyfriend if he had friends who would be willing to pay for her sexual services. Then, after she had slept with at least five of them, she reported them all, including her boyfriend, to the police.
The girl's boyfriend, a 19-year-old national serviceman, had invited each of them to pay to have sex with her.
Two months later, in September last year, she made a police report stating that she had had sex with several different men on different occasions. The boyfriend, now 20, and five others were later charged with having sex with an underage girl.
Yesterday, operations assistant Muhammad Taufiq Sahak, 21, became the fifth person convicted for having sex with her. He was jailed for two months.
Two others have been jailed, one for eight months, the other for three. Another was sent to a boys' home. The fourth was given probation.
The case of the boyfriend, who faces nine charges of having sex with her, is expected to be mentioned on Nov 21. Police investigations are ongoing to trace the rest.
A person convicted of having sex with an underage girl can be jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000.
The relevant provision of the Women's Charter is designed to protect underaged girls. Essentially it is a crime to have sex with a girl aged below 16. In determining whether the crime has been committed, the girl's state of mind is irrelevant. In other words, whether or not she initiated the sex does not matter. Whether or not she consented does not matter (of course, if she had not consented, it is likely that the man would have been charged for rape, a much more serious offence).
In the facts of our present case, there seems to be an element of unfairness. After all, the girl was the one who thought up the whole idea and actively made arrangements to find men to have sex with. And she collected money out of the whole arrangement as well. Obviously she was no sweet innocent young thing herself. Young, yes, but not very sweet nor very innocent.
How does the law take those elements into accout? It probably goes into the sentencing. The girl's own behaviour would probably lead the judge to decide to impose a less severe sentence on the men, than he would otherwise have done. At least, if I were the judge, that's the way I would have approached the case.
However, personally I would find it quite difficult to argue that just because the girl was such a slut herself, the men should not be prosecuted or convicted at all. To proceed down that line can be quite dangerous from a public policy perspective. It could lead to a situation where you end up inadvertently endorsing child prostitution. You could have young girls aged 14, 13 or 12 years old, with terrible sexual morals, offering themselves to men, and the men would take full advantage, again and again, and never be punished at all. This isn't exactly an ideal situation either.
What then is the solution? Hey, don't keep looking at Mr Wang like that. Yes, Mr Wang is clever. But he certainly doesn't have all the answers to all the ills of society.