The Attorney-Generals Chambers (AGC) has announced that it will not be appealing the sentence meted out to pedophile Joshua Robinson.
The American was sentenced to 4-years imprisonment after he pleaded guilty to 9 charges, 3 charges for offences of sexual penetration of minor under 16 punishable under section 376A(2) of the Penal Code, 4 charges of making an obscene film punishable under section 29(1)(a) of the Films Act, 1 charge of possession of obscene films punishable under section 30(1) of the Films Act, and 1 charge of exhibiting an obscene object to a young person punishable under section 293 of the Penal Code.
Another 20 charges were taken into consideration during sentencing.
Responding to the public’s outcry over the light sentence meted out to Joshua Robinson and why he was not charged for “sexual assaults”, rape or statutory rape, the AGC clarified:
- For the sexual acts committed with the two 15 year-old victims, Robinson was charged with the offence of sexual penetration of a minor under 16 years of age, punishable under section 376A(2) of the Penal Code. This was the most serious charge that the Prosecution could have brought on the facts of this case.
- As these two victims were above 14 years of age at the time when Robinson committed the sexual acts with them, the offence of statutory rape was not committed.
- Both these victims had consented to the sexual acts. Therefore, the offences of rape and outrage of modesty were not committed. By the same token, these were not cases of “sexual assault”.
- While caning is provided for the offence under s 376A(3) of the Penal Code for sexual penetration of a minor under 14 years of age, caning is not provided for any of the offences Robinson was charged with.
AGC added that before the District Court, the Prosecution had sought a total sentence of 4 to 5 years’ imprisonment. The Prosecution’s sentencing position was made known to the defence counsel and to the District Court at a pre-trial conference in September 2016.
The Prosecution’s sentencing position was conveyed to Robinson before he made his decision in December 2016 to plead guilty. In arriving at this sentencing position, the Prosecution took into account, among other things, the fact that by securing a guilty plea, the three young victims would be spared the trauma of having to testify and be cross-examined in a trial.
The sentences imposed in this case were broadly in line with relevant sentencing precedents. In light of the sentencing position which the Prosecution had conveyed to Robinson and the fact that his subsequent plea of guilt had spared the victims from the ordeal of a trial, the Public Prosecutor will not be appealing against the sentence.
AGC reiterates that in discharging its duties, it does not discriminate between Singaporeans and Foreigners and the sentence was in line with other case precedents.