I would like to add that I hope that you can help disseminate the following legal points of course with appropriate verification as some recent commentary on your blog posting have not fully grasped the law and the extent to which its drafting defers from that of the United Kingdom and its equivalent the Sexual Offences Act 2003.
Many commentators have noted the fact that the "onus" is on the man to check, Many do not know or fail to mention , that even after making all reasonable efforts to "check', the law in this case has a conclusive presumption WHICH does not allow for any defense except only in mitigation. If it is as true more senior lawyers emerge who should and would know the law better, the difficulty it places on men and not allowing them any defense is all the more apparent.
a. For many who will be convicted the clincher will be the very issue of not being able to offer a defense that we did not or could not have reasonably, rationally, on the predominance of evidence known that she was under 18. The only defense left thus is that we did not do it, or we paid for her company and not sex. No intent or means has to be proven just the act and no defense can be offered.
b. That presumption applies in the UK, but it kicks in at a fairer age and for a more serious offense, i.e sex with a minor and at 13
c. As far as I can remember within the Singapore Penal Code. There are two sorts of presumption. A presumption which shift the burden of proof, but it means that you can offer a defense i.e in Drug Trafficking. and a presumption which does not allow a defense. which as far as I know exists only within the " Fire Arms Act" for unlawful discharge of a firearm, commercial sex with a minor defined at 18 and sex with a minor under 16 which would be statutory rape. Is the offense that serious as to merit a removal of due process and equal treatment under the law and a right to a fair trial ?
d. Please note that sex with a minor is treated more seriously under a count of statutory rape with sentences including caning as an example. If any of us had deliberately had sex with an under 16 we would be facing an infinitely more serious charge and more serious consequences, something which none of the 48 would have wanted.
e. So thus comes the logical illogic, If a 17 year old can legally have sex, but she cannot legally sell herself for sex and if she is caught selling sex its her customers who face the music. Yet the customers are limited in their defense even if they can proof she lied to them, showed them a fake ID, showed the pimp a fake ID, none of it legally at the end of the day matters because the very act is sufficient for conviction]
f. I would like to add finally that prostitution crudely put on a retail level has many aspects. The mass market , street level prostitution encompasses a large degree of human trafficking, human slavery of the worst kind. As many have grasped a social escort which offers "luxury" pricing and with a database of alleged well of individuals cannot by any stretch of logic encompass the worst and most inhumane aspects of prostitution and human trafficking.