SINGAPORE: A 41-year-old man targeted a teenager and a boy on separate occasions, molesting one on a train and asking the second a lewd question while out on bail for the first offence.
Chew Yeow Keong was given 17 weeks' jail on Friday (Jul 9) for his crimes. He pleaded guilty to a charge each of molesting an 18-year-old teen on a train and insulting the modesty of a 12-year-old boy.
A third charge was considered in sentencing.
The court heard that Chew was in a train on Aug 12, 2019, when an 18-year-old teenager got on at Lorong Chuan MRT station.
Chew winked at the 18-year-old, but the teenager ignored him. The train was not crowded but Chew stood up and approached the teenager.
He stood beside the teenager and stretched out his hand, molesting the teen's buttock.
The teenager was shocked and turned to see an arm being retracted near his buttock. He quickly alighted at the next stop and lodged a police report the next day.
While police investigations were ongoing and he was out on bail, Chew committed another offence.
At about 9.15pm on Mar 10 this year, a 12-year-old boy was heading home after playing football at Our Tampines Hub when Chew approached him.
Chew asked if he could perform a sex act on the boy. The boy stared at Chew before walking away quickly. When he realised Chew was still looking at him, the boy ran home and told his mother what happened.
His mother called the police, saying her son was still shaken by what happened. Chew was subsequently remanded.
The prosecutor asked for at least 15 to 20 weeks' jail and a fine, citing Chew's previous convictions including two counts of molestation in 2002 and another four in 2016.
The degree of sexual exploitation on the older victim was on the lower end and the touch was not prolonged, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Joseph Gwee.
While no physical contact was made with the younger victim, Mr Gwee said this offence was committed while Chew was on bail and under police investigations.
Defence lawyer S S Dhillon asked for 15 weeks' jail, saying his client is remorseful and has pleaded guilty at the first available opportunity.
"He has asked me to convey to the court that he will never repeat this mistake again," he said. He asked if his client could serve jail time in default of a fine as he has no means to make payment.
For using criminal force to outrage a person's modesty, Chew could have been jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.
For insulting a person's modesty, he could have been jailed up to a year, fined, or both.