Man who molested 12-year-old girl gets 21/2 years' jail

A former security guard sexually assaulted a 12-year-old girl living with his family while his wife and two young children were asleep.

Yesterday, Tan Whay Chuan, 57, was jailed for 2 1/2 years after he pleaded guilty to two charges of molestation.

A district court heard that the girl and her mother started staying regularly with Tan's family at his wife's invitation in late 2013, as the mother was having marital problems.

The girl and her mother cannot be named to protect the victim's identity.

On the night of March 15, 2014, the girl's mother went to view a flat with a housing agent. While Tan's wife and son were asleep in the guest room, Tan lured the girl into the master bedroom by asking her to teach his daughter English there.

Later, when Tan's daughter went to join his wife and son in the guest room, Tan locked the master bedroom door and molested the girl. When she tried to scream, he pinned her on the bed and used a pillow to cover her mouth.

At about the same time, the girl's mother came home and could not find her daughter.

She tried opening the master bedroom door, and knocked on it when she found that it was locked. The girl then ran out of the room.

Tan told the mother that the girl had gone to his room because of the air-conditioning there.

Two days later, the mother asked the girl what happened and the victim told her what Tan had done.

The mother took her to a nearby clinic and the doctor advised the mother to make a police report, which she did the next day. Tan was arrested later that day.

Earlier that month, between March 8 and 10, Tan also molested the girl while her mother was not around at night.

On that occasion, the girl was sleeping in the guest room with Tan's wife and son when he molested her. The girl woke up and pushed him away.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Soo Tet said Tan had "grossly abused his position of trust and responsibility over the victim".

And on the later occasion, he added, Tan's attempt "to commit even more egregious and intrusive sexual acts on the victim... was only prevented by the fortuitous arrival of the victim's mother".

The maximum punishment for using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a person under 14 is five years' jail, a fine and caning. Those above 50 cannot be caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 08, 2016, with the headline 'Man who molested 12-year-old girl gets 21/2 years' jail'. Print Edition | Subscribe