Molester jailed for three weeks for touching woman on bus

SINGAPORE - A man who molested a woman on three separate occasions on a bus was jailed for three weeks on Monday.

Indian national Seetharaman Ramesh, 32, an electrician, pleaded guilty to one count of using his left hand to touch the 39-year-old victim around her left underarm area on board service 13 along Geylang Road on July 25 last year.

Two other molestation charges committed earlier that month were considered during his sentencing.

The court heard that the victim boarded the SBS Transit bus from Yio Chu Kang Road bus interchange on July 25 last year. She sat at the second last row on the left.

About 20 minutes later, Seetharaman boarded the same bus along Bishan Street 22.

Throughout the journey, he continued to move further towards the back of the bus. He finally sat down on the last row diagonally behind the victim, next to a woman.

When the passenger next to him alighted from the bus, Seetharaman moved inwards so that he was seated directly behind the victim.

The bus was travelling along Geylang Road when he reached through a gap and used his fingers to touch the victim's left underarm area.

When the victim lifted her left arm, she saw his fingers fidgeting around at the left side of her body. She turned around and stared at him.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur agreed with the prosecution that the custodial threshold has been crossed in this case. She said this was not an isolated act; it happened on public transport; and the court has always taken such offences seriously.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Rajiv Rai had said a deterrent message had to be sent so that opportunistic molesters do not take advantage of female victims. He said it was not a fleeting touch and the area involved was a sensitive part.

The maximum penalty for outrage of modesty is two years' jail, fine, caning or any combined punishment.