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The Straits Times
Jan 10, 2022
A 16-year-old girl turned to her for shelter after running away from a children's home, but the woman took advantage of the girl's vulnerability by prostituting her and pocketing the earnings.
The victim, who was a virgin, was made to provide sexual services to five or six men a day between December 2018 and March 2019. She was slapped when there were disagreements.
The accused, who cannot be named due to a court order protecting the identity of the girl, was sentenced to three years' jail on Monday (Jan 10).
The 34-year-old Singaporean had pleaded guilty to a count each of intentionally aiding multiple men to obtain the sexual services of the victim, instigating someone to destroy electronic records that contained evidence against her, as well as indecent behaviour in a public place.
On Monday, she also admitted to two counts of breaching the Covid-19 (Temporary Measures) Act. Another six charges were considered for sentencing.
The court heard that the girl had run away from a children's home on July 3, 2018, and the accused got to know her through her goddaughter.
From September 2018, the victim resided with the accused in a flat in Chai Chee with a few other women.
Everyone in the flat called the accused "mama", as she purchased necessities and food for them.
Between December 2018 and April 2019, the accused, who was working as a prostitute, advertised the victim's provision of sexual services on classifieds website Locanto. She claimed the girl was 21 years old even though she knew her actual age was 16 at the time.
When prospective customers contacted the accused, she sent them photos of the victim and arranged for them to meet.
The woman accompanied the girl to meet-up locations, which included hotels and their Chai Chee flat, where she provided sexual services for $100 for 30 minutes, $200 for an hour and $500 for two hours.
Some sexual services were provided without condoms.
On at least one occasion, the accused slapped the minor over a dispute with a customer.
The victim, who earned up to $700 a day for about five months, handed all her earnings to the accused and received an allowance.
It is not clear how the accused's offences came to light. Court documents state that in April 2019, one Ms Humayra had called the police and said: "There is sexual disclosure and drug consumption while (the victim) was on the run... now she is back to (the home)."
After the accused was arrested in May 2019, she instructed her flatmate through a third party to delete incriminating evidence on her phone that linked her with the victim.
Separately, in April 2020, the woman breached Covid-19 rules twice during the circuit breaker when she provided sexual services at a staircase landing.
District Judge Wong Li Tien said the accused was the "mastermind" of the prostitution scheme and the degree of exploitation was high.
"Instead of protecting the minor, she slapped her when there were disagreements. There was a degree of coercion as to what was done," she said.
"There was also a risk of unwanted pregnancies as protection was not always used. Even though the accused thwarted the investigation, we can assume that the operation was large and lucrative, as the victim had five to six customers per day," the judge added.
For abetting a man to obtain sexual services of a minor, the woman could have been jailed for up to seven years and fined.