“She was just a poor young girl who went on a ride to enjoy herself, but ended up being violated.”
Those were the words of District Judge Jasvender Kaur, who on Tuesday (28 February) sentenced Rohit Kumar Joshi to nine months’ jail for outraging the modesty of a 12-year-old girl in October 2015.
The court heard that Rohit, an Indian national who was working as an engineer in Singapore, touched the girl a total of five times while on a ride at Universal Studios Singapore (USS). The girl cannot be named due to a gag order.
Reading from the statement of facts, Deputy Public Prosecutor Taufiq Suraidi said that the girl had gone to USS with a group of friends on 19 October, 2015. The girl and two of her friends boarded the “Mummy Ride” at USS, where Rohit sat towards the right of the girl in the same row.
When the ride began, the vehicle moved slowly and stopped before reversing at a high speed. It was at this point that Rohit touched the girl’s outer right thigh and began stroking it. The girl did not respond initially as she thought it was an accident, given the high speed that the vehicle was travelling in.
However, as the vehicle turned around and began moving down the tracks, Rohit persisted in touching her. When the ride came to a stop, the girl told her friend what had happened and they then reported the incident to a USS staff member. A police report was made on the same day.
In his mitigation, Rohit’s lawyer T. M. Sinnadurai said that his client, who is married, has a new-born daughter in India and would like to go back as soon as possible to see his child. He added there was no skin-to-skin contact and most of the touches had occurred away from the private parts.
District Judge Kaur agreed that the intrusion was not so severe, given that there was “no prolonged or direct contact”, and decided against imposing caning. For his offence, Rohit could have been jailed up to five years and given 12 strokes of the cane.