Man jailed four weeks for molesting teen in a taxi

SINGAPORE - A hotel call operator who molested a 15-year-old girl while they were inside a taxi was jailed for four weeks on Friday.

A medical report stated that the victim, a secondary school student, was so traumatised by the incident that she is afraid of big-sized men and tries to avoid them.

In the dock was burly Samir Singh Aulakh, 34, who pleaded guilty to molesting the victim when they were inside the taxi travelling from Kampong Bahru Road to Lower Delta Road at 7.45am on Aug 30, 2013.

A district court heard the victim was walking along a sheltered pathway when Samir approached her from behind and asked "How are you?". He had done this previously and she had ignored him. This time, she replied: "I'm okay.''

When Samir found out that she was on her way to school and taking a taxi, he said he would follow her as he was going to a place near her school.

She flagged down a taxi and he followed her to the back seat.

While seated close to her, he felt the urge to kiss her and placed his right arm over her shoulder and pulled her closer to him. He repeatedly asked her to give him a kiss and a hug but she refused.

Despite this, he persisted in his advances and continued to pressure the victim to give him a kiss on the cheek.

Afraid, the victim moved closer with the intention of kissing him on the cheek. But he deliberately turned his head to kiss her on the lips. He then apologised to her.

A while later, he asked her to kiss him again. Despite her refusal, he kissed her.

The court heard that he next wanted to touch her on the thighs and asked if he could place his hand on her legs but she replied in the negative. He proceeded to place his right hand on her knee. Throughout the entire incident, his arm was over her shoulder.

After both had alighted, he warned her not to tell anyone. The victim subsequently broke down in tears in school, and her parents were informed.

Seeking a short custodial sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gabriel Choong said the offence was pre-meditated, long drawn-out and deliberate. It occurred in the confines of the taxi and the victim felt trapped, he said.

Mr S. Balamurugan said his client, whose wife is expecting their first child in a few months, deeply regrets his foolish actions, which has brought shame and embarrassment to him and his entire family.

Samir could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or received any combined punishment.

elena@sph.com.sg