SINGAPORE: A man was jailed for four months and two weeks on Wednesday (January 13) for assaulting a woman asleep on a bus.
Khin Chin Jie, a 22-year-old Malaysian, asked the judge not to name him but his attempt was unsuccessful.
The court heard that the victim, a 29-year-old female, boarded a double-decker bus from Orchard Road bound for Clementi on August 28 of last year.
She sat in the third and last row on the upper deck and fell asleep. She woke up alongside Holland Village and when she saw that no one was next to her she continued to take a nap.
Khin had boarded the bus earlier and swapped seats to sit next to the victim, who was still asleep. He looked at her and saw a few strands of hair on her chest, Deputy District Attorney Joseph Gwee said.
He then reached out and touched her chest over her clothes. The victim felt the contact and immediately woke up. Khin looked shocked and quickly withdrew his hand, the court heard.
The victim didn’t want to look Khin in the eye, instead, she looked in Khin’s direction and didn’t say anything. Khin got off shortly after near the Buona Vista MRT station.
The victim filed a police report online that day saying she was molested on the 106 bus.
Assistant District Attorney Joseph Gwee has requested at least five months in jail, saying the offense was committed on a public transport network.
“Crime statistics show that there are still a high number of cases of modesty outrage on the public transport system (239 cases reported in 2019),” he said.
The victim was vulnerable because she was sleeping when the offense was committed, and there was some premeditation as the accused chose to sit next to her even though the bus was not fully crowded and that two seats in front of the victim were vacant.
As mitigation, the unrepresented Khin told the judge he hoped his identity would not be disclosed to members of the public.
When invited by the judge to respond, the prosecutor said: “All court records are recorded, where members of the public can be present in the courtroom, and it is in the interests of the ‘accessibility to justice. “
Khin again asked if he could confirm that his identity would not be revealed, but the judge told him there was no legal basis for doing so.
For outraging the victim’s modesty, Khin could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, beaten, or a combination of these penalties.