A Singaporean accountant was sentenced to five months' jail on Thursday, July 26 after he pleaded guilty for molesting his date at Jurong Bird Park.
Reports stated that the 29-year-old Paul Cheng Jun Hong met with his date in the park and after barely one hour of the meeting he hugged the victim and then suddenly tried to touch her genitals. He also unhooked her bra while hugging the 28-year-old woman and also tried to look down her dress.
After the objection came from the victim, both of them returned to the car of the accused and there he molested the woman again by touching her chest.
On the day of the court hearing, the judge heard that Cheng and the victim came to know each other via an online dating application called Coffee Meets Bagel. Both of them started chatting on July 24, 2017, and on the same day the accused asked the woman for a date.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Mark Yeo told the district court judge that first time the unnamed woman refused to meet Cheng as she thought that it was too fast but the accused continued to ask her for one meeting. After some time the victim agreed to meet him.
Cheng picked the woman from her workplace on July 24 at around 5.30 pm. He suggested that they should go to the Jurong Bird Park, which is near the church, where the woman had to go later. The DPP Yeo later, stated that while going to the park, the accused tickled the victim's ear and asked whether she was feeling uncomfortable or not. The victim replied that as she never had a boyfriend, she actually didn't understand the feeling.
The court heard that after reaching the park at around 5.45 pm Cheng hugged the woman and touch her inappropriately several times. The victim pushed his hands away and told him that she was feeling uncomfortable, but Cheng continued to molest her.
The accused touch the chest part of the woman when both of them were standing outside the car at around 6 pm. The victim then pushed him away and asked Cheng to drop her to a nearby MRT station.
After that incident, the woman deleted the dating app and also blocked Cheng on WhatsApp as she did not want to communicate with the man, who molested her. She also filed a police complaint against Cheng next day and the accused was charged for outraging the modesty of a woman.
During the hearing, defence counsel Phillip Lam told the court that his client has already apologised to the victim for his actions on that day. But, District Judge Jasvender Kaur said that no matter what the accused did after that incident, she could not find any exceptional circumstances to reduce the sentence.
Even though Cheng faced a jail sentence only for five months, usually Penal Code section 354 states that, whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage the modesty of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any combination of such punishments.