Man who abducted and molested girl, 7, gets jail

58-year-old lured his neighbour into his flat and almost raped her

For two months, a 58-year-old man pictured himself molesting his neighbour's seven-year-old daughter.

When he saw her playing by herself along the common corridor in November last year, he lured her into his Housing Board flat with ice cream and committed the act.

The accused almost raped the girl and it was fortuitous that his medical condition prevented him from doing so, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adrianni Marhain.

She argued that the case was deserving of the maximum sentence for molesting a minor.

District Judge Kessler Soh agreed, calling it the "worst case of its kind". He imposed a five-year jail term on the unemployed man for outraging the modesty of a girl under the age of 14.

The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order, was also sentenced to one year's jail for abducting the girl. Judge Soh ordered the two sentences to run consecutively.

The accused was given two weeks' jail as well for being in fraudulent possession of 26 ez-link cards and nine Kopitiam cards amounting to $48 on Feb 21 this year.

He could not provide a satisfactory explanation as to how he got them.

This sentence is concurrent.

DPP Siti said that a few months before the offences, the accused started fantasising about children while he was trying to have sex with prostitutes. "He fantasised about boys and girls around age seven or eight," she said, adding that he felt "excited" when they greeted him as "uncle".

After luring the victim into his home in November last year, he told her to enter a bedroom but she said no. But he pulled her into the bedroom and forced her to lie on a bed.

The victim's ordeal lasted for about 15 to 20 minutes.

She remained silent about the incident for some time before telling her parents. Her father took her to make a police report on Feb 18 this year and the accused was arrested three days later.

While in remand for psychiatric assessment, he was found to be of sound mind but revealed a "grooming" behaviour with children.

A subsequent report from the Institute of Mental Health stated that he "meets criteria for a diagnosis of paedophile disorder".

Pleading for leniency, the accused, who had previous convictions for attempted armed robbery, theft and harbouring, sought forgiveness for what he had done.

The maximum penalty for abduction is seven years' jail, a fine and caning. The accused cannot be caned as he is above 50.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 04, 2017, with the headline 'Man who abducted and molested girl, 7, gets jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe