Mixed Martial Arts instructor Joshua Robinson is making the news for his illicit acts of having sex with two 15-year-olds and showing an obscene clip to a third girl who was only six years old.

The 39-year-old had pleaded guilty to nine charges in Court: three for sexually assaulting the girls, five for making and possessing obscene films and one for showing an obscene film to a six-year-old girl. Another 20 charges, including four more for sexual assault, were taken into consideration during sentencing.

He was sentenced to four years’ jail on 2 March.

The six-year-old’s father had expressed disappointment at Robinson’s jail term, which he described as “a slap on the wrist” in a Facebook post which has been taken down.

An online petition against the sentence was started on 5 March and has since attracted over 20,000 signatures.

We looked up the Singapore Statutes Online to try and understand the sentence meted out to Robinson.

According to the statues, those who have sex with an underage person below the age of 14 are to be punished for a jail term up to 20 years and also liable to a fine or caning.

However, a person who has sex with a minor under 16 years old will be punished with a jail term up to 10 years, or with fine, or with both.

The girls whom Robinson had sex with were 15-years-old. 

He was also sentenced for showing an obscene clip to a third girl who was only six years old. We checked on the statutes that this attracts a jail term up to a year, or with fine, or with both.

The media reported that Robinson even asked the poor 6-year-old girl if she liked the video and told her not to tell anyone about it. The girl told her father what had happened when they are home and he alerted the police.

In essence, despite what he has done- harassing young girls and having sex with some of them – he is now in jail for only four years.

Only four years for what he has done?!!

Many pointed out the jarring differences in punishment, and how imbalance it is as compared to other sexual offenders, but the law is the law; pushing for a heavier sentence will be a trial by media, we can’t just pick and chose the laws we like and impose it on people we do not like.

Other similar cases

We looked up cases of similar offences to see if there is a general benchmark for these cases.

For instance, there is the case of part-time events helper Muhammad Hudri Ahmad who coaxed a 13-year-old girl to be his girlfriend after meeting her online and had sex with her on multiple occasions. He received a sentence of 3 years and 4 months.

We also found the case of relief teacher Steven Lee Woon Leong Jr who had sex with a 13-year-old girl who was his student. He was sentenced to two years and three months imprisonment.

There is also another relief teacher (again!) who was brought to the Courts for his sexual deeds. Ross Ryan Kristiaensen was jailed 18 months for having sex with his 13-year-old student.

The 4-year jail sentence that Robinson received is technically higher than precedence.

We agree with the general sentiments that more can be done to protect our young from such sexual predators.

Is it time for our law-makers to relook the penalties for those who have a fetish for young girls so that the Courts can mete out heavier sentences?

A new sentencing benchmark can help to deter potential offenders from preying on their victims if they know they face an enhanced punishment by the Courts.

How about penalties for child porn offences. Surely this is worse than your normal PornHub clips?

For now, Home Affairs and Law Minister K. Shanmugam has said that the AGC is looking into Robinson’s case.

Let’s see how the case develops.

Meanwhile, we say, cut off their penises.