Disturbingly, more and more cases of molestation have been recently reported in Singapore. Adding to the list is the latest case of a 22-year-old woman who was molested at Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange by a 28-year-old construction worker who touched and “tickled” her buttocks. The construction worker pleaded guilty to one count of molestation and was jailed for seven weeks on Tuesday, November 13.
It happened on September 24 of this year. The victim and her 23-year old boyfriend were sitting on a bench at Woodlands Temporary Bus Interchange, waiting for a bus at around midnight.
The victim was sitting on the bench with her boyfriend on her left. A man, identified as Indian national Kaliyaperumal Rajkumar, arrived and took a seat next to her on her right.
CCTV footage at interchange captured the incident that followed. The women, who was talking to her boyfriend with her back turned to Rajkumar, suddenly felt her right buttock being “tickled” over the jeans she was wearing for at least two seconds, as first reported by Yahoo! News.
Upon feeling fingers on her buttocks, the woman immediately stood up off the bench and saw that Rajkumar was using two fingers on his left hand to tickle her.
She told her boyfriend to what was going on, and in turn he yelled at Rajkumar, who got up and walked away quickly.
The victim and her boyfriend alerted the SMRT staff, who helped by apprehending Rajkumar and reporting him to the police.
Since his actions were fully captured by the onsite CCTV footage, Rajkumar admitted that he did molest the woman because he was “sexually attracted” to her.
At the State Courts, Rajkumar pleaded guilty to one charge of molestation.
Upon delivering the seven-week jail sentence, District Judge Marvin Bay said, “The public must be protected from late-night acts of harassment and molestation not just within the confines of public transport, but also in public places such as bus interchanges. The sentence must therefore be a sufficient deterrence for like-minded persons to dissuade from perpetrating such acts of outrage.”
According to the Penal Code of Singapore, the penalty for sexual assault or use of criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person is caning, up to two years’ jail, a fine, or any combination of the aforementioned punishments.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) published a statement on September 17, saying that the number molestation cases in public transport and public entertainment spots have recently increased.
The SPF also advised the public to report molestation cases immediately to “increase the chances of apprehending the suspect early”:
“If you are molested, seek help immediately from those around you.
Take note of the prominent features and attire of the suspect as well as the direction in which he or she went.
Call ‘999’ as soon as possible to increase the chances of apprehending the suspect early.
If it is safe to do so, the victim or other witnesses of the crime may assist to detain the suspect while waiting for the police to arrive.”
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