Updated Feb 11, 2009:
According to the LianHe Zaobao (联合早报) today, Quek Hock Seng, a 42-year-old former travel agent, pleaded guilty to one charge under Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises "any act of gross indecency" between male persons. He was sentenced to four months imprisonment. The maximum penalty is two years.
The following report has been updated on Feb 6, 2009:
According to a media background brief published by the Attorney-General's Chambers, the six accused persons are believed to have met the student while chatting on the Internet.
The news report stated that the men were charged under the old Section 377 as the offences occurred before the Penal Code (Amendment) Act took effect on Feb 1, 2008.
Under the old statute which has since been repealed, Section 377 criminalises any person who "voluntarily has carnal intercourse against the order of nature with any man, woman or animals." The new Section 377 criminalises necrophilia.
According to a media background brief published by the Attorney-General's Chambers, Balasundaram S/O Suppiah and Ng Geng Whye are each charged with "carnal intercourse against the order of nature under Section 377" of the Penal Code. If convicted, they face life imprisonment, or jail term of up to 10 years, and are liable to be fined. The report further mentioned Ng to be a former deputy director of the Central Narcotics Bureau, former president of the Singapore Amateur DanceSport Association, and former manager at concert organiser Unusual Productions.
Quek Hock Seng and Song Choong Chen were each charged under Section 377A of the Penal Code which criminalises "any act of gross indecency" between male persons. If convicted, they face up to two years of imprisonment.
Muhammad Hafashah bin Mohd Aslam faces two charges of "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" under Section 377 and Ng Yong You, two charges of gross indecency under Section 377A.
Neither the report nor the media background brief provided any information about the specific sexual activities between the men and the teen nor did it explain why the men were charged under different laws. It is should however be noted that the penalty under Section 377 is much more severe than 377A.
The brief stated: "The Public Prosecutor will prosecute persons who exploit a young victim who is a minor, irrespective of the gender of the victim or whether the act was consensual. A young male victim, who is a minor, deserves to be accorded the same protection of the law as that given to a young female victim who is a minor."
Currently, under Section 7 of the Children and Young Persons Act, any person who commits or abets the commission of any obscene or indecent act with any child or young person aged 15 or younger may face imprisonment up to two years and/or a fine up to S$5,000 for first-time offenders.
The new Section 376A of the Penal Code provides for more severe penalties with imprisonment of up to 10 years or with fine or with both for more serious sexual offences including oral and anal sex with minors under 16 years of age.
In October 2007, Section 377 which criminalised "carnal intercourse against the order of nature" between persons of non-specified gender was repealed as a result of a wide ranging Penal Code Amendment Bill. Section 377A which criminalises "any act of gross indecency" between male persons with a penalty of up to two years jail was however retained despite a high profile campaign by the gay community and Nominated Member of Parliament Siew Kum Hong. He tabled and presented a parliamentary petition signed by 2,519 Singaporeans and Singapore residents who support the repeal of Section 377A.