Man who pretended to help 11-year-old runaway only to molest her gets jail, caning

SINGAPORE - A man who acted like he was keeping an 11-year-old runaway safe by accompanying her as she roughed it out ended up molesting the girl.

Muhammad Fitri Muhammad Hozir Bonawi, 26, was on Friday (March 19) sentenced to 15 months' jail and three strokes of the cane.

He had earlier pleaded guilty to one molestation charge.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Niranjan Ranjakunalan said the victim had left her home a few days before the incident last year as she was not on good terms with her stepmother.

On Jan 16, as she was sleeping in the void deck of a Housing Board block in Bedok Reservoir, Fitri woke her up and advised the girl not to sleep there.

When she told him she had been kicked out of the home, Fitri suggested that she sleep in the rooftop garden atop a multi-storey carpark at Block 145A Bedok Reservoir Road instead.

DPP Niranjan said the victim followed him to the deserted place and felt uncomfortable when she realised that Fitri would be spending the night with her.

At around 2.30am, they left the carpark and rode his motorcycle to a nearby fast-food restaurant.

When they returned to the rooftop garden at around 3.30am, they lay next to each other with a gap between them.

The victim fell asleep at around 6am but awoke to the sensation of Fitri touching her groin over her jeans.

She told him to stop, which Fitri complied, and she went back to sleep.

But Fitri repeated the act when she dozed off.

Afraid, the victim sat up and decided not to sleep any more. At this juncture, Fitri hugged and kissed her on the lips.

The victim told a friend about the incident and they reported the matter to the police.

Based on investigations, the police arrested Fitri on Feb 3 last year.

Those convicted of molesting a child below 14 years old can be jailed for up to 10 years and caned.

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