Man jailed 17 weeks for molest and using criminal force

Sim Teck Chye, a repeat offender, had pleaded guilty to three charges with two others taken into consideration.
Sim Teck Chye, a repeat offender, had pleaded guilty to three charges with two others taken into consideration.PHOTO: ST GRAPHICS

SINGAPORE - An unemployed man was sentenced to 17 weeks' jail on Wednesday (July 29) for molesting and using criminal force on women.

Sim Teck Chye, a repeat offender, had pleaded guilty to three charges with two others taken into consideration.

Probation had not been recommended for the 42-year-old, who carries a high risk of sexual recidivism.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Senthilkumaran Sabapathy had said that Sim was sitting next to an 18-year-old girl on board an SBS Transit bus on March 11 this year when he brushed her left arm over a period of five minutes. The victim felt uncomfortable. She finally stood up and went to the aisle standing area. Her sister reported the incident to the police.

On March 27, Sim was in Upper Paya Lebar area when he called out to a 14-year-old girl as she was walking towards a church. He asked if she could pray for him as he had gastric pain.

She agreed. While she was praying with her right hand outstretched , he grabbed her hand and held it tightly . She felt uncomfortable but did not resist initially.

After a short prayer, she tried to move her hand away but he refused to let go. He then stretched out his arms and she immediately raised her hands and told him: "No" .

She informed her church pastor of the incident.

Six days later, he was in the same area when he grabbed a 26-year-old woman's elbow as she was walking with her friend back to church. She immediately shoved his hand away. Sim then touched her on the shoulder area.

Subsequently, the victim told the church pastor of the incident. Sim was detained.

His lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said mandatory treatment order (MTO) could be a suitable avenue for treatment but the law does not allow for an accused such as Sim who has committed outrage of modesty.

MTO is aimed at offenders with mental illnesses and is capped at two years in lieu of jail time.

Mr Sunil quoted an Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist's report on Sim that the alleged offences appeared to be "dysfunctional attempts to socialise with the opposite sex''.

Community Court judge Lim Keng Yeow told Sim, who suffers from obsessive compulsive disorder, not to make any form of physical contact with another person who does not welcome and does not want it. He advised him to seriously consider going for treatment, as failure on his part is equivalent to choosing to re-offend.

The maximum penalty for molestation is two years' jail, fine and caning; and for criminal force, it is three months' jail and a $1,500 fine.