SINGAPORE: A 59-year-old man was given one-and-a-half years’ jail on Thursday (Dec 3) for repeatedly molesting a 12-year-old girl who used to be his neighbour.
The man, who cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the victim’s identity, told police he had committed the acts because he “had no woman” and “suddenly felt the urge” to touch the girl.
The court heard that the man, a cleaner at a mall, used to live close to the victim and her mother.
Around lunchtime on Sep 27 last year, he spotted the victim walking home from her primary school. He ran up to her and insisted on sending her home. The girl did not move away as she recognised the man as her old neighbour.
The man placed his arm around the victim’s waist as they walked, and she tried to break free but could not.
When they arrived at the lift lobby of the victim’s block, the man kissed the victim before taking her to a bench and later to a staircase landing.
He sat beside her on the stairs and molested her before grabbing her wrist and trying to pull it towards his private parts. The girl resisted and the man eventually let go.
He molested her again, and the victim protected herself by placing her arms together in front of her. However, the man pushed the girl back onto the steps and kissed her, attempting to stick his tongue into her mouth, said the prosecutor.
The victim closed her lips tightly and struggled against him, but to no avail. The attack stopped only when the man received a phone call from his employer asking him to return to work.
After hanging up, he turned and kissed her again before leaving. The girl later told her mother that she was followed by her old neighbour and molested; her mother then called the police.
“My daughter is very reluctant to go down to police station to report. So can you send a female officer?” asked the victim’s mother.
After he was arrested, the police asked the offender why he had committed the offences.
He responded: “I already divorced and I have no woman. So when I was with (the victim), I suddenly have the urge to touch her and thus carried out the acts.”
He pleaded guilty to three counts of molesting a minor, with another four charges taken into consideration.
A PERSISTENT PREDATOR: PROSECUTOR
The prosecutor asked for at least 19 months’ jail, inclusive of one month in lieu of caning, saying the man’s conduct “was that of a persistent predator”.
He added that the man was aware of the “immorality and criminality of his actions, yet continued to carry out his sordid acts in his pursuit of sexual gratification”.
“The accused’s actions were not fleeting,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng.
“The accused had first pushed the victim down, then kissed her on her lips, and after a short while, he had tried to use his tongue to enter her mouth. This course of action shows a perverted persistence on the part of the accused.”
He said it was “entirely fortuitous” that the man’s employer called and stopped him from further molesting the victim.
For each charge of molesting a minor, the man could have been jailed for up to five years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50.