SINGAPORE — Claiming that he was unable to control his “urges”, a man used his exposed private part to touch the elbow of a frightened 11-year-old girl who was in the lift with him at a housing block.
Khoo Wei Yang, 24, a Singapore permanent resident from Malaysia, was sentenced to five months’ jail after pleading guilty to using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the victim.
A similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.
The girl’s name cannot be published due to a court order to protect her identity.
The court heard that on the afternoon of July 7 last year, the girl was on her way home from school when she encountered Khoo in the lift.
After the girl pressed the button for the sixth floor, Khoo chose to press the button for the eighth floor even though he lived on the second floor.
While they were in the lift, Khoo then exposed his private part and proceeded to touch it.
As the girl was able to see what he was doing from the reflection in the glass panel of the lift door, she quickly looked down as she was scared.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Quek Lu Yi said that with the intent to outrage the girl’s modesty, Khoo then touched her left elbow with his exposed private part.
Not being able to move because she was too scared, she stayed still as Khoo continued rubbing her elbow with his private part.
When the lift arrived at the sixth floor, the girl stepped out and Khoo followed, trying to engage her in a conversation by telling her that she had dropped something on the floor.
The girl turned back towards Khoo but then walked away when she realised she had not dropped anything.
As she walked towards her home, the girl stopped to turn back and saw that Khoo was standing at a corner watching her.
Realising that she had seen him, Khoo then walked away towards the lift.
Later that night, the girl’s father took her to a police station to make a report. Khoo was arrested the next day.
During the investigation, Khoo admitted that he had touched the girl inappropriately with his private part due to his “urges”.
The girl did not leave the house for a few days because she had become fearful after the incident. Even after a few days, she required an escort every time she left the house, because she did not want to take the lift on her own.
Seeking six to eight months’ jail, DPP Quek said that there was a degree of sexual exploitation because Khoo had used his exposed private part to touch the victim skin-on-skin, which scared her.
She added that Khoo had also exploited the helplessness of the girl, who was in an enclosed space where there was no one around to help her.
For using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the girl, Khoo could have been jailed up to five years, fined, or caned, or given any combination of these punishments.