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Man gets 12 weeks' jail for having paid sex with 17-year-old girl he met on dating site

SINGAPORE — A 47-year-old man was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Oct 19) for paying a minor SS$1,000 for sex after meeting her on dating website Sugarbook.

Aloi Gregory Marshall at the State Courts on Sept 23, 2022.

Aloi Gregory Marshall at the State Courts on Sept 23, 2022.

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  • Aloi Gregory Marshall paid a 17-year-old girl S$1,000 for sex after meeting her through dating website Sugarbook in early 2021
  • The court heard that Aloi had sex with the girl at his Orchard Road home despite finding out she was underage
  • He was sentenced to 12 weeks' jail on Wednesday (Oct 19)

SINGAPORE — A 47-year-old man was sentenced to 12 weeks’ jail on Wednesday (Oct 19) for paying a minor SS$1,000 for sex after meeting her on dating website Sugarbook.

Aloi Gregory Marshall, an American, pleaded guilty to a charge of having commercial sex with a minor under 18. Another charge of possessing obscene films was taken into consideration for sentencing.

The court heard that he met the girl in early 2021, when she was 17 years old and living in a shelter.

She and the shelter cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity. 

Aloi was browsing Sugarbook in search of companionship when he chanced upon her profile there, where she said she was 18 years old.

Sugarbook bills itself as a site "where romance meets finance" and aims to link up older men with younger women, with the men expected to provide financial support for their companions. It was founded by a Malaysian man.

Aloi and the girl continued communicating over Telegram and he asked if she was 18. She told him she was turning 18 in Dec 2021, said court documents, which did not state his occupation.

She agreed to his proposal for sex at a rate of S$1,000 per meet-up, which would last for two hours.

On April 24, 2021, they met at his home along Orchard Road. They had sex and cuddled on his bed before he went to take a shower and left her S$1,000 in cash.

After that day, they tried to arrange to meet in the coming weeks but could not find a suitable date. He then reached out to her at least twice but she did not respond.

On May 5 that year, the head of casework and counselling at the girl's shelter lodged a police report, expressing concern that she had been engaging in commercial sex.

In court on Wednesday, the prosecution sought 12 to 14 weeks’ jail, arguing that Aloi proceeded to have sex with the teenager despite finding out she was underage.

His lawyer, Mr Gino Hardial Singh from Abbots Chambers LLC, countered that Aloi thought the girl was of age. “Our position is that he did not do the necessary checks and was careless,” the defence counsel added.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Tin Shu Min said she did not accept that Aloi had misread the message where the girl said she was under 18.

However, the prosecutor added that this point was not material for sentencing purposes, as both sides agreed that Aloi had not probed much into the girl's age.

"It’s not disputed that the inquiry he undertook was extremely limited," said DPP Tin. 

Mr Singh said his client has been in Singapore “for quite a while” and needed to settle some things before going to jail. District Judge Kow Keng Siong said Aloi can begin serving his sentence on Nov 16.

He remains out on bail of S$15,000.

Those convicted of having commercial sex with a minor can be jailed for up to seven years or fined, or punished with both.

Related topics

court crime commercial sex minor sexual offence Sugarbook

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