Former Albirex assistant coach convicted of molesting teen

Former assistant coach of Albirex Niigata Singapore football club Takafumi Mizuno pleaded guilty in February to outraging the 14-year-old girl's modesty.
Former assistant coach of Albirex Niigata Singapore football club Takafumi Mizuno pleaded guilty in February to outraging the 14-year-old girl's modesty.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

The former assistant coach of Albirex Niigata Singapore football club has been convicted of molesting a 14-year-old girl.

Japanese national Takafumi Mizuno, 30, pleaded guilty in February to outraging the teenager's modesty last July.

A second molestation charge involving the same girl will be considered during sentencing.

He was expected to be sentenced yesterday, but the case was later adjourned to March 23.

Mizuno first molested the girl in a shop in Jurong East Street 31 at 5.40pm on July 6 last year.

The teenager entered a nearby supermarket about 10 minutes later and spotted him at the entrance.

She saw him again when she left the supermarket and went to another shop.

The girl went back to the supermarket after buying some items at this store.

She was at the baking products section at about 6pm, when she felt somebody touching her right buttock.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Siti Adrianni Marhain said: "She immediately elbowed the accused, who was the only person standing behind her. The accused was not carrying anything and the baking products section was not crowded or narrow.

"The victim left the supermarket after making payment for some items. She contacted her mother and told her what happened at the supermarket."

The court heard that the girl lodged a police report at about 9pm the next day, stating that she had been molested twice in Jurong East Street 31.

The bespectacled Mizuno was accompanied in court yesterday by his lawyer, Ms Wong Shi Yun.

Offenders convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

Albirex declined to comment.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 16, 2018, with the headline 'Former Albirex assistant coach convicted of molesting teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe