State Courts of Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
State Courts of Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 48-year-old man was sentenced to nine weeks in jail by a Singapore District Court on Friday after pleading guilty to outraging the modesty of a 13-year-old schoolgirl by hugging her and kissing her twice on the  cheek.

On August 12, 2016, Tham Jung Kang, a cleaner by employment, spotted the girl walking with difficulty on her way to a tuition center in Hougang, The Straits Times reported.

The court heard that Tham assisted her to the center by walking with her and holding her hand.

When the class was finished, the schoolgirl left the center and saw the same man waiting at a traffic light at the junction of Hougang Avenue 7 and Avenue 8. He again provided assistance to her by holding her hand and walking with her.

Arriving at a pavilion near Block 680, Hougang Avenue 8, the man suggested taking a rest there although the girl did not want to. He took the opportunity to hug her across her chest, and placed his head on her shoulder for about a minute while they were sitting together on the bench.

The girl was afraid and wanted to get away, but the man hugged her from behind briefly with his hands on her abdomen to stop her from leaving.

The schoolgirl walked away but he caught up with her, holding her arm and walking her up to an elevator in a nearby block, since she did not want to reveal her true residence.

She told her father of the incident and they reported it to the police the following day.

The defendant’s lawyer told the court that Tham was not a sex predator and had touched the victim out of loneliness only. However, the judge slammed Tham for frightening the vulnerable teenager several times.