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Boy Caned in Singapore Makes News Again

By Kerry A. Flatley / April 9, 1998



B. Greisch of Page, Ariz. asks, "Whatever happened to the American boy who was caned in Singapore in 1994?"

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American teenager Michael Fay grabbed headlines in 1994 when he was sentenced to 83 days in a Singapore prison and six strokes of a cane for spray-painting cars.

Four years later, Mr. Fay is once again in the news. Last week, Fay was arrested and charged with possession of marijuana and other drug paraphernalia in Winter Park, Fla.

But what has Fay been doing between newsmaking events?

During his imprisonment in Singapore, Fay's parents appealed to the international community for clemency, maintaining his innocence. But few people protested the way his parents had hoped and a plea from President Clinton to the Singapore government resulted in only two fewer lashes.

After serving his sentence, Fay returned home to Ohio with his mother.

Family problems erupted the following summer, and in the fall of 1994, Fay was treated for burns that he said were related to a drug habit he acquired while dealing with the aftermath of the caning.

In 1995, Fay moved to Florida, took a job at Universal Studios, and later enrolled at Valencia Community College, in Orlando, Fla.

Last week, Fay pleaded guilty to marijuana possession and was released from an Orange County jail after posting a $500 bond.