SINGAPORE — Motivated by his desire for sexual gratification, a man first approached his female colleague on the pretext that he was trying to check on her new fan.
He then decided to hug her from behind and, despite multiple rejections, proceeded to sniff her and slide his hand under her clothes. At one point, he even suggested that they have sex at her work desk.
On Friday (Nov 3), Mohamed Rozi Mohamed Nor, 48, pleaded guilty to using criminal force to outrage his victim’s modesty.
Two other similar charges will be taken into consideration for sentencing. He will be back in court on Dec 14.
Rozi has since left the company, where he worked as a facilities executive at the time of the offences.
Both the company and victim cannot be named by a court order to protect the woman’s identity.
REJECTED BY VICTIM SEVERAL TIMES
The court heard that on the morning of April 21 this year, the victim was alone at her work desk when Rozi approached her to ask if he could check that the new fan was working.
After noticing her standing close by with her back facing him, Rozi hugged her from behind and sniffed her hair, telling her that her hair smelled nice. He also asked if he could kiss her neck.
The woman responded that his behaviour was inappropriate.
However, Rozi persisted in his advances and asked her where an appropriate place to kiss her would be, court documents showed.
When she rejected him, he stepped in front of her and pulled down the right side of her clothes at the collar, then asked again if he could kiss her neck.
Even though she rejected his advances, Rozi lifted the victim by her armpits to seat her on the desk. As he did so, he commented on how light she was.
Feeling uncomfortable by his actions, the woman left the room to discard her trash.
The court heard that she was back at her desk when Rozi re-entered the room 11 minutes later.
This time, he circled her desk before he hugged her from behind again. He also sniffed her and told her that she smelled “good”, then slid his hand under her clothes to squeeze her chest area several times.
Rozi had done so because he was motivated by his desire for sexual gratification, court documents stated.
He then slid his hand down to her jeans and suggested that they engage in sexual intercourse “there and then”.
The woman once again told him that his behaviour was inappropriate, which led Rozi to suggest “booking a hotel room”.
It was only after she told him that she was not interested did Rozi pull away. He then apologised and left the room.
That evening, the woman made a police report stating that she was molested.
The court also heard that from April 23 to 25, which was several days after his criminal acts, Rozi apologised to the woman again though a series of phone text messages and implored that she “help him”.
DETERRENT SENTENCE WARRANTED
Seeking seven months’ jail for the accused, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Ariel Tan said that Rozi’s actions constitute a degree of sexual exploitation that involved force and a prolonged intrusion into her privacy.
His conduct also demonstrated a degree of premeditation as he repeatedly made advances towards the victim, first hugging and sniffing her, then kissing her, and finally proceeding to grope her chest area despite her attempts to resist his advances.
DPP Tan added that a deterrent sentence was warranted because the offence was committed at the victim’s workplace during work hours, stating that the victim should have been allowed to feel safe at her own workplace.
For each charge of using criminal force on a person with the intent to outrage their modesty, Rozi could be jailed up to three years, fined or caned, or be penalised with any combination of these punishments.