A prison officer who repeatedly molested a male inmate at Admiralty West Prison in 2015 was today sentenced to 27 months’ jail. The officer, Sergeant Mohamed Faris Osman (47), assaulted a 20-year-old inmate over three months, from July to October 2015. He was convicted for nine counts of molest.
A fellow officer who noticed that the inmate seemed “depressed and distressed”, “as if he was on the brink of tears” coaxed the victim to tell the truth.
District Judge May Mesenas who delivered the judgment of the case today chided the prison officer for abusing his position of authority to harass the victim, a Chinese national. He noted that, “being a prison inmate, who was, ‘cabined, cribbed and confined’, he was clearly vulnerable as he was unable to retaliate whenever (Faris) molested him.”
Faris had allegedly used the antennae of his walkie-talkie to poke the inmate’s buttocks twice, and grabbed, rubbed, slapped and squeezed the inmate’s buttocks and private parts on multiple occasions. When the victim rebuffed him, Faris told the man: “Officer sayang you, why you no sayang officer?”
The 20-year-old further feared that his sentence would be increased if he retaliated. Courts document show that the victim felt felt “humiliated”, “bullied” and developed an “inferiority complex” because of the abuse.
The officer who has served in the Singapore Prison Service for 27 years denied all allegations throughout the nine-day trial which took place in June. He said that he would not risk punishment by committing such “silly” offences.
The judge however refused to believe the officer as the inmate’s evidence was “unusually convincing”. The judge also noted that the victim “had been prepared to tolerate these instances of humiliation … as he did not want his sentence to be (affected).”
Saying that the inmate had no motive to bring false allegations against Faris, the judge described Faris as an untruthful witness” who gave inconsistent statements, and was “unable to give sufficiently credible and coherent explanations”.
The Singapore Prison Service confirmed that it suspended its officer from service on the grounds of his alleged misconduct.