A former policeman pleaded guilty on Wednesday, February 13, at the State Courts to one count of allowing his rental unit to be used as a brothel and another count of living off the earnings of prostitutes.
The ex-officer also pleaded guilty to engaging in sexual intercourse without disclosing that he is HIV-positive.
Four additional similar counts are to be considered for the ex-officer, who remains unnamed under the law.
He coerced two of the women to have sexual relations with him, using his former position to threaten one of the women if she did not submit to his sexual overtures. However, he neglected to tell them about his medical condition.
Singapore’s Infectious Diseases Act requires people who have been diagnosed with HIV to disclose their condition to would-be sexual partners, as well as to get their acknowledgment that they understand the risks of engaging in sexual acts.
Refusal to do so could mean that the person could face a fine of up to $50,000, a 10 jail sentence, or possibly both.
The man’s story began in early 2017 when he advertised the availability of his Geylang apartment to some prostitutes.
In June that year, one Chinese woman informed him that she wanted to use the flat for conducting her business as a sex worker.
When they met shortly afterward, the man told her he wanted to have sexual relations with her, telling her that he used to be a policeman.
He used this to pressure the woman, who was afraid that she would get caught by the authorities.
She agreed to have sex with him, wherein the man used a condom but did not pay the woman.
Afterward, the woman began to use the flat to offer her services.
Later on, the former policeman tried to coerce her into having sexual relations again, but she did not agree. He then tried to increase his rental charges, accusing the woman of using the flat as a place for her partner to stay.
The woman ended up terminating her agreement with him, and he refunded $600 from her rental fee.
A few weeks later the former policeman rented out the flat to another sex worker from China, and then a third Chinese national afterward, with whom he again had sexual intercourse.
He did not disclose to the women his HIV-positive status.
The prosecutor said that the women would not have had sex with the man if he had told them of his condition.
All in all, the man charged the three women $2,500 to rent his Geylang flat. The matter came to light on July 4, 2017 when a police raid was conducted and one of the prostitutes was caught, which led to the capture of the former policeman a week later.
The former policeman believes he could have been infected with HIV in Thailand as far back as 2003, but he was not diagnosed until five years later.
In 2017, however, he contacted the Ministry of Health (MOH) via email, telling them of his sexual relations with a prostitute whom he believed was infected with a sexually transmitted disease.
He requested the Ministry to look into the matter and deport the woman.
A few days after his initial email, he wrote the MOH again, saying he was HIV positive, and telling them that when he had had sex with the woman, the condom he used had broken.
MOH’s Surveillance and Enforcement Branch investigated the matter.
The former policeman’s medical tests from December 2016 and July 2017 revealed that his viral load was undetectable, which greatly lessens the chance of transmitting HIV to others. He had also been under medical treatment during this time.
He will be sentenced on April 5 of this year. He is facing a jail term of three years or a $3,000 fine for running a brothel from his flat and a further jail term of five years or a $10,000 fine for living off the wages of a prostitute.
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