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Singapore

Economy rice stall cook admits molesting woman after seeing love bites on her neck

SINGAPORE: Angry that a woman he dated had love bites on her neck, a cook at an economy rice stall pinned her down, molested her and took a picture of her bare chest.

The 52-year-old man pleaded guilty on Thursday (Jul 29) to four charges of voyeurism and aggravated outrage of modesty, with another four charges considered in sentencing.

He cannot be named due to a gag order protecting the victim's identity.

The court heard that the man met the victim at the coffee shop they both worked at. The victim was a 24-year-old Malaysian national who worked as a beer promoter.

They became friends in late January 2020, and entered into a romantic relationship in March the same year. On Apr 28, 2020, the victim moved into a flat with the accused as she could not return home to Malaysia due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

He was angry that she returned to the flat late at night with love bites on her neck. Because of this, the pair quarrelled frequently, the court heard.

At about 1am on Aug 21, 2020, the victim returned home from work and found the main door of the flat locked from the inside. She called the accused to open the door for her.

When he did so, he began asking her why she had been out late, and who she had been with. The victim was tired and did not want a confrontation, so she told him that she was going to take a shower, the court heard.

When he saw that she had taken her phone with her into the shower, the accused became angry and asked why she had to do so. He snatched her phone away and went into the bedroom.

Fearing for her safety, the victim tried to call a friend on her smart watch. However, she could not make any calls and realised that the accused must have been monitoring her phone, which was connected to her watch, and cutting her calls.

After showering, the victim went into the bedroom and lay down, using her phone that the accused returned to her. 

He grew angry again and began questioning her about her mobile phone use and if she had been with other men. He also asked about her love bites.

The victim wanted to de-escalate the situation and ignored his questions, sitting up to use her phone.

HE RESTRAINED HER, MOLESTED HER

Angry that the victim was not answering him, the accused grabbed her phone and pinned her forcefully down on the bed. He then forcefully kissed and sucked her neck.

The victim pleaded with him to stop, saying he was hurting her. The accused replied: "You let others do it, it hurts when I do it, but it doesn't when others do it".

The victim struggled and tried to get up but could not. When she tried to use her phone to call for help, the accused held her down by the front of her neck.

He released her later, and the victim asked him to leave. He took his things but later went back into the bedroom and asked her if she really meant it when she told him to leave.

After another argument, the man sat on top of the victim and restrained her on the bed. He then removed her clothes as she cried and molested her.

The victim told the accused that she felt pain and asked him to stop. Instead, the man took his phone and took a photo of the victim's bare chest as she cried and struggled.

The man later got off the woman, gathered his things and left the flat. He sent the victim a message later that day and apologised for what he had done, but she did not respond.

He then sent her the photo he had taken, distressing the victim. She confided in a friend about what the accused had done, and lodged a police report at her friend's urging.

The accused was arrested and charged, before being released on bail. However, his bail was later revoked as he breached a condition by contacting the victim.

He admitted to the offences when questioned by the police. A psychiatric report found that the accused was suffering from major depressive disorder at the time of the offences, but that he was cognisant of the nature and wrongfulness of his actions.

The prosecutor asked for at least four years and 24 weeks' jail and 12 strokes of the cane, citing the significant degree of sexual contact and force. There were also elements of revenge, as the accused was "acting vindictively in his actions out of jealousy and rage that the victim had moved on with her life", said the prosecutor.

He added that there was an element of "deep perversion and humiliation", as the accused took off the victim's clothes, photographed her and sent her the photo when she did not reply his text.

He will return to court for sentencing next month.

Source: CNA/ll

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