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The Straits Times
Sept 26, 2022
An American man engaged the sexual services of a teenage girl here despite knowing she was below 18 years old.
On April 5, 2021, John Tae-Hyun Kaaiohelo and the 17-year-old girl, who was then staying in a shelter, went to a handicapped toilet at his office building, Duo Tower in Fraser Street near North Bridge Road, where she performed oral sex on him.
Court documents did not state why she was staying in a shelter at the time.
Kaaiohelo, 42, was on Monday jailed for 10 weeks after he pleaded guilty to engaging the sexual services of the minor.
A search with the Accounting and Corporate Regulatory Authority shows he used to be a director and shareholder of a firm that invests in early-stage companies.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tin Shu Min said Kaaiohelo was looking through online classifieds website Locanto in early 2021 to buy used female undergarments when he came across the girl's advertisement that she was selling them.
After contacting her, he propositioned her for sexual services during their conversation. He agreed to pay her $150 for oral sex and a pair of her used underwear.
The court heard that the girl told him she was below 18 years old at the time.
Despite this, Kaaiohelo booked a private-hire car on April 5, 2021, to bring the teenager to Duo Tower, where he met her at a drop-off point.
They went to the eighth storey of the building and she performed oral sex on him in a handicapped toilet. After paying her $150 in cash, Kaaiohelo left the premises at around 1.40pm.
The head of casework and counselling at the shelter later found out about the girl's activities and alerted the police on May 5, 2021.
Calling for the court to sentence Kaaiohelo to between 14 and 16 weeks' jail, DPP Tin said on Monday: "The transaction between the victim and the accused was one-off and there is no evidence of further contact between them.
"While this was not a case in which the accused deliberately sought out a minor to begin with, he proceeded despite finding out that she was a minor."
For engaging the sexual services of a minor, an offender can be jailed for up to seven years and fined.