Construction worker jailed 4 weeks for touching woman's thigh on MRT train

Construction worker Murugaiyan Kaviarasu was jailed for four weeks for molesting a 27-year-old woman on an MRT train in August.
Construction worker Murugaiyan Kaviarasu was jailed for four weeks for molesting a 27-year-old woman on an MRT train in August.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 45-year-old construction worker who molested a 27-year-old woman on an MRT train in August was on Friday (Sept 9) jailed for four weeks.

Murugaiyan Kaviarasu pleaded guilty to one charge of outrage of modesty.

A district court heard that the victim boarded the train at Yew Tee MRT station at about 4.40pm on Aug 13.

One stop later, at Choa Chu Kang MRT station, Kaviarasu, an Indian national, boarded the train and sat to the right of the victim, though the train cabin was fairly empty.

He then leaned towards the victim, such that his left shoulder touched her right shoulder.

The victim moved away from him, but that did not deter Kaviarasu, who moved closer towards her.

He placed his left arm by his side and leaned towards her again, before using the back of his left hand to brush against her right thigh several times.

The victim stared at Kaviarasu, who then placed his hands on his haversack on his lap.

Shortly after, the victim heard a female passenger sitting opposite her remark that the molester was moving his hand towards her again.

The victim stared at Kaviarasu again and he placed his hands back on his haversack.

As the train was approaching Jurong East MRT station, the molester again placed his left arm by his side and tried to touch the victim's thigh but did not manage to do so.

Kaviarasu then alighted at Jurong East MRT station, but the victim grabbed his haversack and prevented him from leaving the train platform. She called the police.

Kaviarasu repeatedly said "sorry" to the victim.

In mitigation, the construction worker told the court that he had been working in Singapore for eight years with a clean record.

He said he had a few drinks at a party before taking the train, and was too intoxicated to remember his actions. He added that he is the sole breadwinner of his family, with two children and elderly parents to care for.

Kaviarasu's sentence was backdated to the date of his remand on Aug 15.

For using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person, he could have been jailed for two years and fined and caned.