Singapore

AGC looking into Joshua Robinson case: Shanmugam

AGC looking into Joshua Robinson case: Shanmugam
A screengrab from the Change.org petition.
Published: 5:40 PM, March 6, 2017
Updated: 7:27 PM, March 8, 2017

SINGAPORE — The Attorney-General’s Chambers (AGC) is looking into the case of convicted sex predator Joshua Robinson, as a petition calling for a harsher sentence for the American mixed martial arts (MMA) instructor gained traction on Monday (March 6).

Speaking on the sidelines of a community event, Law and Home Affairs Minister K Shanmugam, noting the “public disquiet” over Robinson’s four-year jail sentence, said people are “naturally upset, parents in particular”, and explained that what kind of sentence is meted out depends on previous cases.

“Having said that, my understanding is that AGC is looking into this,” he said, adding: “I personally should not be commenting, because the matter is not concluded, as time for appeal has not ended. It is therefore not appropriate for me to comment.”

Robinson, who was sentenced last Thursday, had pleaded guilty to nine charges, including charges of having sex with two minors, making and possessing obscene films, and showing an obscene film to a six-year-old girl.

Police officers had seized 5,902 obscene films, including 321 films of child pornography, when they raided his apartment. Robinson had faced 29 charges in total, and the prosecution had proceeded with nine of these charges, with the rest taken into consideration during sentencing.

In one instance, he contacted a 15-year-old girl through social media repeatedly until they eventually exchanged contact numbers. He claimed that he was 27, and told the girl that he had a fetish for young girls in uniform.

In June 2015, he asked to meet the girl, instructing her to wear her school uniform. They went to his apartment along Upper Circular Road, where he filmed them engaging in sexual acts. After the encounter, she had a mental breakdown and filed a police report.

Asked about the case yesterday, Mr Shanmugam said that the decisions on which charges to proceed is a matter within AGC’s discretion, and the AGC makes these decisions based on precedents.

More than 10,000 people, including the father of one of the children affected, had signed the online petition asking for harsher penalties against Robinson for his sex crimes as of 10pm yesterday.

The petition was started by Ms Sarah Woon on Sunday, a friend of the six-year-old victim’s father, and had called for 100 signatories. It is addressed to Prime Minister Lee Hsien Loong, Mr Shanmugam and the AGC, among others.  

CORRECTION: In an earlier version of the story, we reported that Joshua Robinson was charged with sexual assault of a minor. That is incorrect. He was charged with sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years of age. We are sorry for the error.