Singapore: GrabCar driver faces 16 months jail time for sexual assault

On September 23, 2016, Ng Seng Chye transported her passenger to her home where he took advantage of her while she was asleep as he could not wake her up.

A man passes a Grab signage in their office in Singapore September 23, 2016 (Edgar Su/Reuters)

After a night of beers and an exhausting day at school, a 21-year-old college gal never thought that she would end up passed out inside a GrabCar driven by a 64-year-old grandpa who sexually harassed her. The driver has been proven guilty and is now facing 16 months jail time.

The court sentenced defendant Ng Seng Chye to at least 16 months in jail time for molesting his 21-year-old passenger who fell asleep inside his taxi. The girl, whose identity was unnamed by authorities, was at Club Kyo along Cecil St when she booked a GrabCar driven by Ng.

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"A trip that should have taken just 20 minutes lasted 90 minutes that night, while the victim remained asleep in the car," says Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana.

On September 23, 2016, Ng transported her passenger to her home where he took advantage of her while she was asleep as he could not wake her up. Until the victim felt that the driver was already leaning against her body and caressing her.

In a state of shock and horror, she jumped out of the car and walked away without her belongings. Ng tried to ask for the fare so she threw two S$10 bills at him and went home.

The victim said she had no idea what Ng did to her other than what had woken her up. But investigations reveal that the driver leaned forward from the driver's seat to kiss her after he failed to wake her up. He then went to the back seat beside the passenger wherein the sexual harassment took place.

She tried to reach out to Grab customer helpline to get her belongings back. She told her mother about the incident and reported the incident to the police.

The day before the incident happened, the victim attended her morning classes and an almost two hours of a football game. Later in the evening, she had her dinner with her teammates with a few beers on the side. After midnight, she consumed another two bottles of beer.

This article was first published on November 25, 2017