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The Straits Times
Oct 19, 2022
Despite being told she had yet to turn 18, a man had sex with a girl he met on Sugarbook and paid her $1,000 for her services.
Aloi Gregory Marshall, 47, was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail on Wednesday after pleading guilty to obtaining the sexual services of an individual under 18 years of age.
The victim cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her identity.
The court heard that Marshall browsed the Sugarbook website to look for companionship sometime in early 2021.
Sugarbook is a matchmaking website that pairs women with men willing to pay for their time.
Marshall saw the victim’s profile on the website where she represented that she was 18 years old. They communicated on Sugarbook and subsequently continued chatting on messaging app Telegram.
On Telegram, Marshall asked the girl if she was 18, to which she replied she was “turning 18 this December”.
In response, he asked the victim if she was interested to provide him with sexual services. He said he would pay her $1,000 for a two-hour session, during which they would “have sex twice”.
She agreed and they met in April 2021 at his residence, where they had sex.
Marshall subsequently left $1,000 by the victim’s bag as consideration for her sexual services, and she took it before leaving his residence.
That same month, Marshall reached out to the victim on Telegram to ask if she wanted to meet again. The pair tried to arrange a meet-up but were unable to find an available date.
In May, Marshall contacted the victim twice to ask if she was free to meet, but she did not respond.
Seeking a sentence of 12 to 14 weeks’ jail, Deputy Public Prosecutor Tin Shu Min said the degree of inquiry performed by the accused in ascertaining the victim’s age ought to be taken into consideration during sentencing.
DPP Tin also noted: “Even though the accused and the victim met only once, the accused continued to communicate with the victim thereafter in an attempt to arrange for another session of commercial sex.
“While this was not a case in which the accused deliberately sought out a minor to begin with, he proceeded despite being finding out she was a minor.”
Marshall’s request to defer his sentence to give him time to settle some matters was approved. He will begin his jail term on Nov 16.
An offender who obtains the sexual services of an individual under 18 can be jailed for up to seven years, fined, or both.