Singapore—An undergraduate student of the National University of Singapore (NUS) molested a woman on the train. The judge gave him 21 months of supervised probation for his repeated offences of groping women.
On Sept 12 last year, Terence Siow Kai Yuan (23) was on the train heading towards Punggol station at around 11PM. He noticed a woman he described as having “very long legs.”
Siow sat next to the woman and started touching her thigh. The woman moved away, but Siow touched her thigh again. She then moved away and sat somewhere else.
When the woman alighted the train at Serangoon station, Siow followed closely.
While the woman was on the escalator, Siow molested her again. A report by The Straits Times stated that Siow used his finger to grope the woman’s buttocks.
The victim, however, said in a Facebook post that Siow “ran his finger along [her] genital area.”
She screamed at Siow who then walked away. The victim reported the assault and filed a police report soon thereafter.
Siow reportedly admitted to committing similar offences since 2016.
The prosecutor urged the court to jail Siow for six weeks due to his “deep-seated habit” of doing such offensive acts. Siow continued molesting women, as he was “emboldened after previous successes.”
However, the presiding judge dismissed Siow’s actions as “minor intrusions” and said Siow appeared to have “an inability to control his urges.”
District Judge Jasvender Kaur said that the assault on the train was “just a brief touch on the thigh.”
Defence explained that Siow would be graduating from NUS soon and that “he has learnt his lesson.”
The judge stated that Siow had “the potential to excel in life” and that there is extremely strong propensity for reform.”
Siow pleaded guilty to one charge of “outraging the modesty of a woman.” He was sentenced to 21 months of supervised probation with 150 hours of community service. The parents were also bonded S$5,000 to “ensure his good behaviour.”
Victim “disappointed but not surprised”
The victim, who revealed her identity as Karmen Siew (28) in a report by The New Paper, said that she suffered from the incident and is now “mildly paranoid” whenever she rides the train.
In a Facebook post responding to the news, she expressed her disappointment in the system where the molester received a “get out of jail free card” because of his academic qualifications.
She also referred to Brock Turner, an Stanford university athlete and convicted rapist who was jailed for a mere six months.
“I’m not angry anymore. I am just disappointed that the courts are choosing to treat and adult who has committed multiple sexual offences (not only on me, but on others) as a child, but I am not surprised.”
Siow could have been jailed for up to two years as well as fined and/or caned for each charge./TISG