26-year-old petrol station employee sentenced to 22 months for luring 12-year-old girls into prostitution

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1st June 2023 – (Hong Kong) A 26-year-old gas station employee, Sum Tin-wai, was sentenced to 22 months in prison on Thursday for luring two 12-year-old girls into prostitution and attempting to sell their virginity. The defendant had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to procure a person to become a prostitute, including procuring a police officer to become a prostitute.

According to the charges, Sum had contacted two secondary one girls through social media platforms commonly used by teenagers and told them they could make a lot of money by having sex with men at designated premises. Sum also claimed that they could earn even more if they attracted more young girls to prostitute themselves. He allegedly told the girls they could earn HK$3,000 to HK$5,000 by selling their virginity, while he would extract a 20 to 30 percent commission.

The defendant was arrested after police sent an undercover female officer to meet with him by pretending to be a young girl. During the meeting, Sum offered to fight for a reward of HK$4,500 if she was willing to sell her virginity. He also offered to make an exemption and only extract a HK$200 to HK$300 commission if the client allowed him to arrange for the customer to lick her private parts. Under police caution, Sum admitted that he had asked the girls out because he wanted them to become prostitutes and earnsome commission.

Passing down the sentence in the West Kowloon Magistrates’ Courts, Deputy District Judge Li Chi-ho referred to a psychiatrist’s report that revealed Sum was sexually attracted to girls who have yet to enter puberty. The report also indicated that Sum was likely to commit similar crimes again in the future, and he had refused treatment in the past. Judge Li noted that Sum’s behaviour was a serious offence as he targeted girls aged 12 to 13, who were too young and could be cheated and taken advantage of easily.

While the judge acknowledged that Sum did not force or threaten the girls, he emphasised that Sum’s actions could lead to irreversible trauma and scarring. The court has a responsibility to protect children, and the fact that Sum was arrested before he succeeded in procuring those young girls into prostitution was fortunate, said Li.

The defendant’s personal actions did not involve any criminal organisation, but the judge noted that any case involving minors would result in a heavier sentence. Sum’s actions were particularly egregious since he targeted girls between the ages of 12 and 15, who had not yet developed the maturity to make informed decisions.