Boy, 17, charged with molest of women in their 70s
17-year-old also charged with molest of woman, 49. In another case, man, 53, gets preventive detention for molesting two boys
In just four hours, a teenager allegedly molested three women, including two who are in their 70s, at three Housing Board blocks in Bendemeer and Whampoa.
Khamalhan Kavnor Subramaniam, 17, who has been in remand since last Thursday, has been charged with three counts of outrage of modesty.
The Malaysian teenager allegedly began his spree at about 6pm on Dec 16.
He is accused of touching the private parts of his first victim, a 79-year-old woman, while she was squatting in an eighth-storey corridor at a block in Whampoa.
Minutes later, he allegedly touched the buttocks of a 49-year-old woman in a lift at a nearby block in Bendemeer.
He allegedly struck a third time at about 10pm by groping a 73-year-old woman at the seventh-storey lift landing of another Bendemeer block.
Khamalhan's case will be heard again on Jan 7. If convicted, he can be jailed for up to two years, fined and/or caned for each molest charge.
In a separate case, a man who had served two stints of corrective training for sex crimes against young persons was sentenced to seven years of preventive detention for molesting two boys on a public bus.
Seyad Sulaiman Maideen Pillai, 53, pleaded guilty last month to two counts of molesting victims below the age of 14, with a third similar charge taken into consideration.
Handing down the sentence yesterday, District Judge A. Sangeetha said it was expedient for public safety that Seyad be detained in custody for a substantial period.
While in prison, Seyad will be provided with psychological intervention and equipped with skills to manage his behaviour.
Preventive detention, which can last for seven to 20 years, is for recalcitrant offenders. They must serve the sentence with no reduction for good behaviour.
Seyad was sentenced to five years of corrective training and six strokes of the cane in 1999, and another six years of corrective training in 2012 for similar offences.
Corrective training is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour. The maximum period is 14 years.
Slightly over a year after his release in March last year, Seyad reoffended yet again while working as a cleaner at Far East Plaza.
His first victim was travelling to school on a bus along Orchard Road at about 7.30am in May this year when Seyad beckoned to him.
As they had interacted before, the boy sat next to Seyad and accepted $2 from him as he did want to appear rude.
Seyad then stroked the boy's thigh and placed his arm around his shoulder for about five minutes before alighting from the bus.
THOUGHT HE NEEDED HELP
On June 11, also at about 7.30am, Seyad, who was sitting in the last row of a bus , called another schoolboy to join him. Thinking the man needed help, the boy complied.
He asked the boy about the first victim, then asked if the boy loved him before stroking his thigh. The child pushed his hand away and stood up. But before he could move away, Seyad touched his lower back and shoulders.
The boy's mother made a police report later that day.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwyane Lum told District Judge A. Sangeetha yesterday that protecting the public was paramount, and Seyad had persisted in his offending despite having opportunities to reform and learn from his previous convictions.
Defence lawyer Diana Ngiam agreed there was a need to stop her client from reoffending, but asked for corrective training instead, arguing that more time in prison would not help Seyad.
"What is required is supervision upon his release," she said.
Judge Sangeetha called for a community court conference for Seyad in order to help in his rehabilitation after his release.
In sentencing, the judge also took into account Seyad's guilty plea and the absence of intrusion of private parts.
The police highlighted outrage of modesty as a key concern when mid-year crime statistics were released in August.
The number of cases had increased by 5 per cent in the first half of 2019 to 837, from 797 in the same period last year.
While outrage of modesty cases on the public transport system fell, numbers are still high, with 119 cases from January to June.