Singapore Rages After US Man Gets 4 Years for Sex With Girls
Thousands say punishment isn't enough—they want him caned
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 9, 2017 11:44 AM CST
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Many feel justice was not served.   (Getty Images/tcp)

(Newser) – A mixed martial arts teacher originally from the US found out his fate in Singapore last week for having sex with two 15-year-old girls—and thousands are decrying the punishment as not being nearly as punitive as it should be, the BBC reports. Nearly 29,000 people have signed on online petition calling for a harsher sentence for 39-year-old Joshua Robinson, who received a four-year prison sentence following the 2015 bust. The Straits Times says he pleaded guilty to charges of having sex with minors, as well as to showing an obscene film to a 6-year-old. Robinson's original arrest was for having sex with one of the girls, whom he met via a dating app, but when cops raided his apartment, they also found thousands of XXX-rated films, including one that showed him having sex with the second teen, whom he'd met a couple of years earlier.

Sarah Woon, who started the petition and says she knows the family of the 6-year-old, says she finds it "absolutely intolerable" that Robinson only got four years, sans caning (which the BBC notes is a typical Singaporean punishment). The South China Morning Post reports the legal age of consent in the country is 16, and that the maximum sentence for consensual sexual intercourse with minors 14 and older is a fine and/or 10 years in prison. Prosecutors say they won't appeal the sentence because Robinson wasn't charged with rape or sexual assault, and because they said the girls had consented to the sex acts, but the country's home affairs minister said Wednesday that officials will be reviewing cases like Robinson's to determine if they should be "dealt with more severely through higher penalties." (Meanwhile, two guys who spray-painted a Singapore train got a caning sentence.)

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