SINGAPORE - A Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular who had earlier been found guilty of molesting an eight-year-old girl has admitted to a second offence in which he tried to outrage a 10-year-old child's modesty while wearing an army uniform.
It happened four months after the first incident in January 2018.
Mohamed Ardlee Iriandee Mohamed Sanip, who was based at Safti Military Institute, was last month convicted of molesting the younger girl following a trial.
On Monday (March 23), the 40-year-old, whose rank and status in the SAF were not disclosed in court documents, pleaded guilty to attempting to molest the older girl.
It happened at around 4pm on May 21, 2018, in Choa Chu Kang.
The girl was in her uniform on her way home from school when she spotted Ardlee at a ground-floor lift lobby in her block.
She entered the lift alone to go up to the second storey but saw him standing outside when the doors opened.
Ardlee then placed a hand on her shoulder and shoved her towards a staircase landing.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana told District Judge John Ng: "As he was doing so, the victim reached the doorway of her unit. She tried to break free and scream.
"The accused then covered the victim's mouth with his hand and forcefully pulled the victim towards the corner of the staircase landing area, away from the victim's unit.
"The victim's screams were stifled in part because of the accused's act of covering her mouth with his hand but she continued to scream and resist the accused's acts, and tried to bend down to weaken the accused's grip."
Ardlee then released the girl and ran. The victim went home and alerted her aunt.
The woman noticed that her niece was "shaking, crying and looked terrified" as the girl recounted the incident.
The girl's cousin later alerted the police.
The DPP said: "In the aftermath of the incident, the victim feared walking home alone from school for some time and experienced flashbacks of the incident."
A classmate now accompanies her when she walks home.
Police cameras had captured the image of a man in army attire in the area. The day after the incident, officers arrested Ardlee.
When his two mobile phones were checked, officers found that he had searched online for information such as the operating hours of two primary schools, as well as how to "muffle noise" and "cover mouth with scarf".
His search history from September 2017 showed that he had also looked for videos of young nude models and teen pornography as well as girls in changing rooms, showers and upskirt videos.
Before he attempted to outrage the 10-year-old girl's modesty, Ardlee had molested the eight-year-old girl at the staircase area of a Tampines block of flats on Jan 22, 2018.
He was released on bail of $30,000 on Monday and will be sentenced on April 20.
Offenders convicted of molesting a child below 14 years old can be jailed for up to 10 years and caned.