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Singapore

Man, 65, jailed for following teen, asking lewd questions and sucking her thumb

SINGAPORE: A 65-year-old man was jailed for seven weeks on Wednesday (Apr 24) for following a 17-year-old girl, asking her lewd questions and sucking her thumb.

Gan Hee Chit pleaded guilty to one charge of insulting the girl's modesty and two charges of using criminal force to outrage her modesty, with a fourth charge for hugging her taken into consideration.

The court heard that Gan boarded Bus 45 in the afternoon of Apr 12 last year and sat next to the victim, who was on the way home from school.

He began talking to her and claimed he could see ghosts and read palms, before reading her palm.

He followed the girl when she alighted near Serangoon MRT Station. Noticing this, she boarded a different bus, but he continued tailing her.

He sat next to her and held her hand, pretending to read her palm, before asking her for her phone number and if she would be his goddaughter.

Feeling scared, she agreed. Gan insisted on alighting with the girl at her stop, and followed her on her walk home.

He then asked her a series of lewd questions in Mandarin, which made her feel embarrassed and uncomfortable, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhi Hao.

She answered his queries about her body parts after he assured her that they were "normal" questions.

The girl was afraid that Gan would follow her home, so went to another flat pretending that it was hers, but could not shake him. While waiting for the lift, the man exposed his nipple to the girl.

She continued trying to shake him off and eventually went with Gan to a coffee shop on his invitation as she thought she would be safe in public.

While there, Gan gave his name card to her and asked her to visit him, before stroking her hand, ears and over her bra strap.

He then sucked her right thumb, shocking the victim, who allowed him to do so as she did not know how to react, the court heard.

The girl made up an excuse to leave and Gan followed her to a bus stop, where he hugged her before letting her go.

The prosecution had asked for the sentence that Gan received, saying he had caused the girl to fear for her safety and that he was persistent and deliberate in his actions.

Gan could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties for outraging the girl's modesty.

For insulting it, he could have been jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(hm)

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