SINGAPORE — A kitchen assistant filmed himself molesting a colleague who was also his housemate as she slept in the nude, a court heard.
When the victim woke up, the perpetrator claimed that he had entered her room to take some honey.
At the State Courts on Friday (15 November), the 37-year-old culprit was jailed for 13 months and 10 weeks, along with three strokes of the cane.
The Vietnamese national pleaded guilty to one charge each of molestation and insulting the modesty of the victim, a 45-year-old Chinese national.
He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity.
Accused wanted honey
Both the culprit and the victim shared the same flat and worked in the same coffeeshop as kitchen assistants.
On 8 March, the victim slept alone inside her room. The door was closed and the victim was sleeping naked as it was warm.
The accused claimed that he felt thirsty and he decided to open the door of the victim’s room and enter it as he wanted to take some honey inside her room.
Deputy Public Prosecutor R. Arvindren told District Judge Ong Chin Rhu, “Upon entering the victim’s room, the accused saw the victim sleeping naked and became excited and curious.”
The perpetrator molested the victim’s private parts and recorded a video of himself doing so. The video captured the victim’s face, body and private parts.
Victim’s sleep affected
The victim was awakened by the groping and saw the culprit standing beside her bed and holding his mobile phone. He looked shocked.
“When the victim asked the accused how he had entered the victim’s room, the accused called the victim ‘big sister’ and asked for forgiveness,” said DPP Arvindren.
“Since the incident, the victim’s sleep has been affected and she continued to live in fear that something bad would happen to her. This is especially so as the accused continued to reside in the same unit as the victim,” added the prosecutor.
DPP Arvindren asked for a total jail term of at least 16 months and three strokes of the cane while the culprit’s lawyer asked for 12 months jail and three strokes of the cane.
The prosecutor noted, among other things, that the molestation involved skin-to-skin contact and was not fleeting. The culprit also took advantage of the victim knowing she was sleeping and abused the trust she placed on him not to enter her room. “Furthermore, the accused even had come up with an excuse about taking some honey in the event he was caught by the victim inside her room,” said the DPP.
In mitigation, the perpetrator’s lawyer said he was remorseful and apologised to the victim and pleaded guilty.
The maximum punishment for using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person is up to two years’ jail along with a fine and caning.
For insulting the modesty of a woman, the maximum penalty is up to one year in jail and a fine.
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