SINGAPORE: They got acquainted with each other on the Coffee Meets Bagel dating app, but she was hesitant to meet him for a date so soon as they had only started messaging each other.
However, Paul Cheng Jun Hong was persistent and managed to persuade the 28-year-old woman to go on a date with him on the very day they got to know each other.
But he then went on to molest the woman, who cannot be named due to a gag order, and for this he was sentenced to five months' jail on Thursday (Jul 26).
Court documents showed that on Jul 24 last year, Cheng, a 29-year-old accountant, drove to the woman's office that evening and picked her up.
He suggested that they head to Jurong Bird Park as it was near the woman's church, and she needed to go there later that night.
While driving there, Cheng tickled his date's ear. He asked her if she felt uncomfortable with it, and she answered that she did not know as she had never had a boyfriend before.
They arrived at Jurong Bird Park just before 6pm and got out of the car; and that's when the woman's ordeal started.
Cheng started to hug the woman and touch her chest. He tried to touch her again elsewhere, but the woman stopped him and told him she was not comfortable with his actions.
Cheng then hugged her and unbuckled her brassiere, before pulling the front of her dress towards him.
The pair returned to Cheng's car sometime after 6pm. Outside the vehicle, Cheng molested the woman again.
She then asked to be taken to the closest MRT station and Cheng took her to Jurong Point.
The victim deleted the Coffee Meets Bagel app and blocked Cheng on WhatsApp. She lodged a police report the next day, saying that she was molested.
On Thursday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Yeo asked for a sentence of at least five months' jail, saying that Cheng had made several passes at the victim, even after she told him that she felt uncomfortable.
The defence asked the judge to be as lenient as possible, saying that Cheng, who pleaded guilty, had offered his sincere apologies to the victim.
District Judge Jasvender Kaur sentenced Cheng to five months' jail.
For assault or use of criminal force with intent to outrage modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of the three penalties.