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SINGAPORE, Jan 22 — A 25-year-old man was sentenced to nine months’ jail and one stroke of the cane yesterday for molesting his girlfriend’s mother, who had earlier looked after the couple’s baby throughout the night.
The Singaporean cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect the 38-year-old victim’s identity. He pleaded guilty to one count of molestation.
It was not his first sexual offence — in 2013, he was placed on 21 months’ probation after being convicted of sexual penetration of a minor. He was about 18 years old at the time.
The latest incident happened on the morning of March 9 last year. The older woman went to sleep in her bedroom at about 8am as she had been looking after the infant.
Around 11.30am, the man went into the bedroom to retrieve a pillow and saw his girlfriend’s mother asleep there with one of her breasts exposed.
His girlfriend, who did not go into the room with him, noticed that he remained in the room for a while.
He then molested the older woman while she was still asleep and squeezed her breast over her T-shirt a few times, while calling “mother” a few times. He also touched her mouth.
She woke up and saw him squatting beside her head, with his pants down and private parts exposed.
He then told her something to the effect of: “Let’s have sex” and she responded that she did not want to. When she asked where his girlfriend and their baby were, he said they were sleeping outside.
She pretended to go back to sleep and he left the room. However, she did not immediately report the incident to the police as she feared arousing his suspicions.
She lodged a report about an hour later when the baby was crying. He was subsequently arrested.
After the molestation, she reported feeling scared that he would return to her flat.
She also began regularly attending sessions at the Institute of Mental Health to deal with her depression, but did not specifically tell her psychiatrist about the incident as she did not want others to know what had happened.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tin Shu Min said that the victim still felt traumatised thinking about the incident, even though the sessions and medication have helped her somewhat.
The prosecutor, in seeking the sentence imposed, noted the “degree of brazenness” in his behaviour. The victim had also given him free access to her home and there was thus a degree of abuse of trust, she added.
District Judge Chee Min Ping told the court that it was a serious form of outrage of modesty, but added that she had considered the man’s guilty plea which had saved trial resources and the need for the victim to testify.
For molestation, the man could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or any combination of the three. — TODAY