Former coach jailed for molesting teen

Takafumi Mizuno, who molested a 14-year-old girl twice on July 6 last year, was given a 10-day jail term yesterday.
Takafumi Mizuno, who molested a 14-year-old girl twice on July 6 last year, was given a 10-day jail term yesterday.

The former assistant coach of Albirex Niigata Singapore football club, who molested a 14-year-old girl, was jailed for 10 days yesterday.

Japanese national Takafumi Mizuno, 30, outraged the teenager's modesty twice on July 6 last year - once at around 5.40pm, before tailing his victim to molest her a second time 20 minutes later.

Before sentencing him, District Judge Clement Tan noted that the girl was a vulnerable victim as she was only 14.

He also found that Mizuno had been persistent as he had followed her around to commit the offences.

Mizuno first molested the girl in a shop in Jurong East Street 31. About 10 minutes later, the teenager entered a nearby supermarket 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 in 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.

Yesterday, Mizuno's lawyer, Ms Wong Shi Yun, pleaded for her client to be given a fine of not more than $4,000. She also stressed that the offence he pleaded guilty to involved a "fleeting touch".

Mizuno pleaded guilty last month to committing the offence. A second molestation charge involving the same girl was considered during sentencing. Offenders convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 24, 2018, with the headline 'Former coach jailed for molesting teen'. Print Edition | Subscribe