Jail, caning for man who molested NUS classmate despite being warned earlier for peeping offence

SINGAPORE - A man was given a conditional warning by the police after he was caught peeping at his National University of Singapore (NUS) hall mate while she was showering.

As part of the warning, he was supposed to remain crime-free for a year or may be dealt with in court for both his older and new offence.

But he re-offended and molested another woman - his classmate - just two months after the police warned him.

On Monday (July 30), the 26-year-old student, who has a girlfriend, was sentenced to nine months' jail and three strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty to insulting the modesty of a woman and molesting another. He cannot be named due to a gag order to protect his victims' identities.

The court heard that the man was outside a female toilet at one of the halls in NUS at around 5am on Nov 25, 2015, when he heard a 22-year-old woman taking a shower. He entered the toilet, entered a cubicle beside hers and locked the door.

He then climbed up the partition and saw her in the nude. The woman rushed out when she spotted somebody spying on her and sought help from her friends.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Yeo said: "The accused stayed in the locked cubicle. The victim and her friends then sought assistance from a security officer on campus who took a photo of the accused inside his cubicle."

The man then unlocked his cubicle door and surrendered himself, and the police were called, added the DPP.

Following an investigation, the police gave the man a conditional warning in February last year but he re-offended just two months later.

The man had been working on his final-year project in one of the university's computer labs since around 7pm on April 19 last year.

His classmate, a 24-year-old woman, was also working on her project in the same room, accompanied by her boyfriend, who fell asleep in the lab at around 2am the next day.

When the woman nodded off about two hours later, her classmate approached her and touched her private parts, rousing her from slumber. The woman and her boyfriend confronted the man, who apologised to the couple. She alerted the university's authorities before lodging a police report.

DPP Yeo urged District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim to sentence the man to nine months' jail with three strokes of the cane. He told the court that even though the man, who gets a thrill out of wearing women's clothes, had been diagnosed with voyeurism and fetishism, these two conditions were not impulse control disorders.

The man's lawyer, Mr Jason Lim, asked the judge to call for a probation report, failing which, he pleaded for his client to be jailed for eight months and fined instead.

Mr Lim told the court that the man had a desire for cross-dressing and that his offences were not premeditated.

The man is now out on bail of $10,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Aug 8 to begin serving his sentence.