As a senior police officer who had been with the force for 14 years, Tan Wee Kiat should have been familiar with cases in which men were arrested for having commercial sex with a minor under 18.
Despite that, the 39-year-old – one of 51 men charged in a high-profile online vice case – did not ask the Singaporean girl how old she was before proceeding.
As it happened, she was under the age of 18 at the time.
Yesterday, Tan was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail for committing an offence under Section 376B of the Penal Code, which criminalises commercial sex with a minor under 18.
In sentencing Tan, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said that the former police superintendent “should have known better” and verified the girl’s age before he had sex with her at Hotel 81 Bencoolen on Dec 22, 2010. He paid her $600.
Tan, who was formerly known as Jarrod Song Eu Loong, had booked her through her pimp Tang Boon Thiew, 39, after seeing her profile on a social escort website.
The online profile described her as an 18-year-old polytechnic student.
But the judge took into consideration Tan’s 14 years of service with the police force.
Lawyer Luke Lee said in mitigation that at the time of the offence, Tan was suffering from depression brought on by work stress, and had been seeing a psychiatrist since 2008.
Dressed in a black jacket, shirt and jeans, the married man did not show any emotion when sentenced. His wife was not in court.
Tan is the fourth man sentenced in the case.
Two others, green activist Howard Shaw, 42, and production manager Chiang Meng Chuan, 31, were also sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail.
Shaw is appealing against his sentence.
The first person jailed, former school principal Lee Lip Hong, was sentenced to nine weeks’ jail in April.
He was released in June.
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