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Man charged with insulting modesty of two people, among first to be charged under revised penal code

SINGAPORE: A man charged on Tuesday (Jan 21) with insulting the modesty of two people is among the first to be charged under the revised Penal Code that kicked in on Jan 1.

Muthu Murugesan, a 34-year-old Indian national, was charged with one count of insulting the modesty of two people under Section 377BA of the Penal Code.

He is accused of removing his pants and stroking himself, intending that this act would be seen by two people, whose identities are protected by gag order. The charge sheets did not state the victims' genders.

The incident occurred at about 10.20pm on Jan 19 at an area with swings at 72 Palawan Beach Walk in Sentosa, the court heard.

The prosecutor said that Muthu might face additional similar charges. He was offered S$10,000 bail and has to return to court next month.

Muthu is among the first to be charged with this new offence. Under 377BA, anyone who utters any word, makes any sound or gesture or exhibits any object intending to insult the modesty of any person will face a maximum jail term of one year, a fine, or both.

Previously, only women could have their modesty insulted, under Section 509, which has been repealed. The penalties were the same as those for Section 377BA.

The new offences are part of several additions and changes to the Penal Code that came into effect on Jan 1 this year, and include offences for voyeurism and cyber flashing.

Source: CNA/ll(mi)


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