The prosecution has called for a fine of at least $21,000 for a woman accused of offering massage and sexual services at a beauty salon. As a part of circuit breaker measures against COVID-19, such businesses had been instructed to close temporarily.
At the hearing on Wednesday, Jin Yin, 55, broke down. "I don't have that much money to pay," she told Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun in Mandarin. She knelt and clasped both her hands before the judge and begged for mercy.
The Straits Times reported that Jin owed money that she had borrowed to pay for her mother's medical expenses in China. Her mother died last year of cancer, she added. She had to work to settle her debts, she told the court. She also has a daughter to take care of in Beijing.
Convicted twice for massage-related offences in 2014
Jin's plea could not be taken up because she was unable to compose herself in the court, said judge Ong.
Under the COVID-19 Act 2020, the woman has been accused of violating temporary measures issued by the government. Her pre-trial conference is set for May 22. Under the Massage Establishment Act, she faces two charges.
On April 10, between 1 pm and 2:30 pm, the Singaporean allowed a male client at In-Style Beauty Salon where she works. "She is accused of offering her services to Chan Fun Hwee, 67, for $150," The Straits Times reported. It is unclear if any action will be taken against him. She is also accused of offering massage services without having a valid licence.
Even though Jin did not have a valid licence, she paid an undisclosed amount to Locanto, an online classifieds website, to carry an advertisement of her massage services last October. She had also been convicted in massage-related offences twice in 2014, as per court documents.
Violators convicted for offending coronavirus control orders can be jailed for up to six months and fined up to $10,000, or both. Repeated offenders can be sentenced for up to a year and fined up to $20,000.