Sex with a Minor

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FAQs on Sexual Offence – Relating to Sex with a Minor   

 

What is the legal age to have consensual sex?

The legal age in the context of Singapore is 16. Sex with a minor, regardless of whether the act was consented to or not, is illegal and it is a punishable offence pursuant to Section 376A of the Penal code. Minors of both genders are covered within this provision.

 

What constitutes statutory rape?

If the minor is a girl below the age of 14, the offence is recognise as statutory rape. A girl below the age of 14 is deemed to be unable to communicate consent to sex. The sexual penetration of a person under 14 years of age is thus deemed to be rape (alternatively, unlawful sexual penetration). When found liable, the sanction impose upon one can lead up to 20 years imprisonment inclusive of a fine or caning.

 

Is it an offence to have sex with a minor under 16 years of age?

Yes, the act is deemed illegal and the actor of the crime will be seen to be a criminal under the law. Pursuant to Section 377 of the Penal code, an offender will be liable to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 10 years and/ or fine.

 

What if I did not know she is under 16 years of age?

With regards to the commonly cited defence of mistaken belief or in layman terms “I did not know she was below 16!” Section 377D of the Penal Code clearly states that:

 

If the offender is above the age of 21, he cannot claim that he mistakenly believed the minor was nit underage as a defence.

 

If the offender is below the age of 21, he may claim that he mistakenly believed the minor was not underage as a defence, but only if the minor was of the opposite sex, and if the offender has not previously committed any similar sexual offences before.

 

What if both parties are below 14 years of age or 15 years of age?

Strictly speaking, this still constitutes the offence of statutory rape. However, the police, exercising its discretion and taking into account the age of the parties and the circumstances surrounding the alleged act in question, may not initiate any charges.

 

What if the girl initiated the sex?

If the girl who is under 16 induced the boy to have sex with her, she may be the guilty party under the offence of Statutory Penetration of a Minor under Section 376A, Penal Code.

 

Can a 15 year old boy be a victim of rape?

A boy cannot be held to be a victim of rape as it is clearly defined user Section 375 of the Penal code that rape consists of penile penetration of the vagina, thus narrowing the scope of victimisation to females. However, he may be a victim of an offence committed under Section 376A of the penal code (the sexual penetration of a minor under 16) as this provision covers both females and males.

 

Do I commit an offence if I have Commercial sex with a minor in Singapore?

Commercial sex with minors under the age of 18 is a punishable offence pursuant to Section 376B of the Penal Code. Any person who obtains for consideration the sexual services of a person, who is under 18 years of age, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 7 years, or with fine, or with both.

 

What if I have commercial sex with a minor when I am outside of Singapore?

Under Section 376C, Singapore citizens or permanent residents who engage in commercial sex with a minor under 18 will still be liable even if the acts were done in a location outside of Singapore.

 

If you need legal representation, kindly contact Gloria James-Civetta & Co here, to get the legal advice you need.

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