Teen preyed on young girls in Hougang

Reformative training for youth who molested three girls, and stole a motorcycle, a soldering torch and an iPhone

An 18-year-old child molester and thief, who sexually assaulted three girls in Hougang, was yesterday sentenced to reformative training.

James Jerome Marius will also be disqualified from driving for a year after he completes his sentence.

A community court heard that on the night of Dec 4, 2012, Marius tailed an 11-year-old girl back to her HDB block in Hougang Avenue 8.

When she reached the lift landing of her block at about 8.50pm, he told her to follow him.

Afraid that he might harm her if she refused, she complied, and Marius led her to the void deck of a nearby block. He pulled down her pants and panties, although she squatted down in a bid to stop him.

He then groped her private parts.

The girl shouted, but Marius put a hand over her mouth. When she told him she wanted to leave, he told her to hug him first.

She eventually ran to a carpark, where she asked a taxi driver for help, and he called the police.

On July 20, 2013, Marius again tailed a girl who was going home.

This time, he followed the 12-year-old victim into the lift at her block in Hougang Avenue 5 at about 4.45 pm. When she was about to exit the lift, he touched her from her chest to her hip.

She went home and told her mother about the incident. Her father took her to make a police report three days later.

On Aug 26, 2014, Marius struck again. He was washing a car at a carpark in Hougang Central when he saw a nine-year-old girl walking home at about 5.30pm.

When she passed him, he spoke to her briefly, before hugging her and touching the upper part of her inner thigh.

The girl and her mother went to look for Marius shortly after, and the mother called the police .

On Nov 17 last year, Marius and two friends stole a motorcycle from an ITE College East carpark.

He rode the motorcycle around the carpark, but the engine stalled shortly after. He pushed the vehicle to a nearby carpark and left it there.

On June 12 last year, he went into a shop at Nex shopping mall, removed a soldering torch worth $29.70 from its packaging, and walked out with it.

He stole an Apple iPhone 4S on another occasion.

Reformative training is a strict regime in which young offenders are put behind bars for between 18 months and three years.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 09, 2016, with the headline 'Teen preyed on young girls in Hougang'. Print Edition | Subscribe