Singapore – A migrant worker who molested a teen and teaching support staff member at One-North was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Apr 14).
Mr Rahaman Shahinor, 32, from Bangladesh, pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation while he was employed at the construction site for agri-business firm Wilmar International at One-North Link, reported Today on Apr 15.
Mr Rahaman committed the offences on his victims, a 13-year-old and a 30-year-old, at a secluded part of the Forest Canopy Boardwalk at One-North Park Fusionopolis South during two consecutive days.
The victims will remain unnamed due to a court order protecting their identities.
Mr Rahaman intentionally bumped into the girl on Jan 28, 2021, as the latter was heading towards the One-North MRT station from her school.
The court heard that, when the girl fell, Mr Rahaman groped her chest over her blouse.
When the girl got up and tried running back to her school, Mr Rahaman stopped her, groped her chest once more and touched her stomach.
The girl turned to run towards the MRT station, but Mr Rahaman pulled her from behind by grabbing her backpack.
The man also snatched the hem of her blouse and attempted to pull it upwards.
The girl screamed at her attacker in protest, but he persisted and pulled the collar of her blouse.
According to reports, the girl tried calling her mother, but Mr Rahaman attempted to take her phone.
When he failed, he ran away.
Less than 12 hours later, Mr Rahaman preyed on another victim. He blocked the path of a 30-year-old teaching support staff member from the same school as the first victim the following day at 7.10 am.
He grabbed the woman’s chest over her dress, Today noted.
The victim tried detaining Mr Rahaman while she called for the police, but he succeeded in escaping.
The woman later saw Mr Rahaman walking along One-North Crescent towards Fusionopolis. She quickly took a video of the attacker.
A security officer was walking out of the school at the same time.
The woman called for the officer and shouted, “That’s him! That’s him!” pointing at Mr Rahaman.
The security officer and a colleague tried tracking the man down, but he got away.
Mr Rahaman fled by taking the MRT from One-North station to his dormitory near Pioneer station, police investigations noted.
Mr Rahaman appeared in court unrepresented and repeatedly apologised for his actions.
He begged District Judge Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz for a lighter sentence, adding that his parents in Bangladesh were “waiting for him”.
“Sorry. I wrong already. I mistake already. Next time, I never do. My father, mother cry for me. I no working. Many cry,” said the accused.
Mr Rahaman, in his defence, said he did not know about Singapore law. “It is not a defence to say that you didn’t know something was an offence,” the judge replied.
The judge said during sentencing that Mr Rahaman had “deliberately and persistently” offended the younger victim, noting it is “especially aggravating” that he insisted on pulling up her blouse while she tried to run away.
Mr Rahaman could have been imprisoned for up to five years or two years for molesting the minor and the woman, respectively. He could have also been fined, caned or given all three sentences./TISG
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