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Singapore

Man gets jail and caning for molesting 7-year-old girl in clinic

Man gets jail and caning for molesting 7-year-old girl in clinic

File photo of the State Courts in Singapore. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SNGAPORE: A man who was at a clinic to see a doctor noticed a seven-year-old girl walk in with her family and found her "very good looking", later following her to the pantry to molest her.

For his actions, China national Chen Bailin, 36, was sentenced to 14 months' jail and three strokes of the cane on Wednesday (Jun 24).

The court heard that Chen went to a clinic in a shopping mall in western Singapore at about 7pm on Jan 8 this year to see a doctor.

He registered at the clinic counter, took a queue number and sat at the waiting area.

Soon after this, Chen saw the victim entering the clinic with her father, mother and brother.

"The accused felt that the victim was very good-looking, and felt an impulse to touch her," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Sheldon Lim.

The victim sat in the waiting area with her family, but went to the clinic's pantry at 7.54pm to get a cup of water for her mother.

She saw Chen on the way to the pantry and politely greeted him. Chen decided to follow the minor, and repeatedly touched himself as he did so.

As the child filled a cup with water in the pantry, Chen squatted down behind her and hugged her, before molesting her.

The girl was terrified and told Chen that she had to go. Chen released her after eight seconds. The incident was captured on the clinic's closed-circuit television camera.

The victim's father called the police about 20 minutes later and Chen was subsequently arrested and remanded.

He pleaded guilty to one count of using criminal force on the girl intending to outrage her modesty.

The prosecutor asked for at least 14 months' jail and three strokes of the cane, noting that there was a high degree of sexual exploitation.

Chen had hugged the girl and pulled her close to him before molesting her, an "extremely intrusive" combination of actions, said the prosecutor.

The girl was highly vulnerable at the time as she was only seven years old, younger than the age ceiling of 14 for the offence.

Chen's behaviour was premeditated and predatory, said Mr Lim, as Chen waited for the girl to leave the safety and protection of her parents before tailing her.

The evidence against Chen was "insurmountable" as the acts were caught on camera.

For using criminal force on a minor to outrage her modesty, Chen could have been jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.

Source: CNA/ll(ac)

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