Japanese expat jailed for molesting woman

Warehouse manager Wataru Murase was sentenced to eight months and four weeks' jail for entering a women's toilet in Far East Square and molesting a woman in October last year.
Warehouse manager Wataru Murase was sentenced to eight months and four weeks' jail for entering a women's toilet in Far East Square and molesting a woman in October last year.ST FILE PHOTO

A Japanese expatriate was sentenced to eight months and four weeks' jail yesterday 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 last year, Murase 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.

  • $15k

    Bail offered to Wataru Murase. He was ordered to surrender himself on Jan 2 to begin serving his sentence.

"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 yesterday 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.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2018, with the headline 'Japanese expat jailed for molesting woman'. Print Edition | Subscribe