Eight months and four weeks' jail for Japanese expat who molested woman in toilet

Wataru Murase had pleaded guilty on Nov 1, 2018, to two counts of criminal trespass and a molestation charge.
Wataru Murase had pleaded guilty on Nov 1, 2018, to two counts of criminal trespass and a molestation charge.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A Japanese expatriate was sentenced to eight months and four weeks' jail on Monday (Nov 26) for entering a female toilet and molesting a woman.

Warehouse manager Wataru Murase, 29, pleaded guilty on Nov 1 to two counts of criminal trespass and a molestation charge.

Two other criminal trespass charges were considered during sentencing.

The court heard that on Oct 12, 2017, Murase had entered a women's toilet on the first storey of Far East Square in Pekin Street at 11.43pm, but was chased out by a woman.

He headed towards a nearby men's toilet and lingered in the vicinity, before returning when the woman left the toilet.

Shortly after midnight, a 21-year-old woman entered the toilet and Murase ran inside.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Han told District Judge Kenneth Yap that Murase approached his victim from behind and slipped his hands into her top.

 

"The victim immediately covered her chest, squatting down to protect herself while screaming,'' the DPP added.

"However, the accused persisted and squatted down as well... Eventually, the accused gave up and ran out of the toilet."

The victim went out a few seconds later and approached a security guard, who advised her to alert the police.

Murase was offered bail of $15,000 on Monday and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Jan 2 to begin serving his sentence.

For outraging the woman's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

And for each count of criminal trespass, he could have been jailed for up to three months and fined up to $1,500.