Indian national Job Mathew Panakkal was sentenced to 20 weeks’ jail on July 3 after he pleaded guilty to molesting three girls at the Hougang Swimming Complex. The Court heard that the 37-year-old convict touched the buttocks and thighs of six girls as he swam past them.
The three girls he is convicted of molesting were between 10 and 13 years old. Four other charges involving the remaining 3 victims were taken into consideration for his sentencing.
The incident happened on Sep 12 at about 7pm. Job spotted a group of children entering the pool as he was swimming laps in the adult pool. He swam in their direction at fast speed, stretched out his hand and touched the thigh of his 13-year-old victim.
The girl felt Job touching her and swam faster, but Job pursued her until she joined a group of swimmers. About seven minutes later, Job molested a 10-year-old girl in the same manner, and another 12-year-old girl by touching her buttocks. Both girls informed their respective swimming coaches of the violation.
On Sep 13, a police report was lodged against Job by a social worker who was caring for some children in the swimming pool. She said that as the girls tried to swim away, Job would swim faster and touch them as he went past. None of the victims can be named to protect their identities.
Job could have been jailed up to five years and be fined and/or caned for each count of molesting a person under the age of 14. -/TISG
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