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18-year-old molests 11-year-old girl in his first week working in S'pore on work permit

SINGAPORE — An 18-year-old sales assistant admitted on Thursday (Nov 10) to molesting an 11-year-old girl in public less than a week after starting work in Singapore. 

An 11-year-old girl was molested in public at Jurong Point Shopping Centre.

An 11-year-old girl was molested in public at Jurong Point Shopping Centre.

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  • Lee Jian Ping, a 18-year-old Malaysian, pleaded guilty to touching an 11-year-old girl's buttocks at Jurong Point Shopping Centre
  • He had entered Singapore a month before and committed the offence less than a week after starting work as a sales assistant
  • He tried to get her to follow him but she refused and returned home to tell her father what happened

SINGAPORE — An 18-year-old sales assistant admitted on Thursday (Nov 10) to molesting an 11-year-old girl in public less than a week after starting work in Singapore. 

Lee Jian Ping, a Malaysian, pleaded guilty in a district court to repeatedly touching the young girl's buttocks over her clothes at the Jurong Point Shopping Centre where he had just begun work.

He had entered Singapore on May 20 this year on a work permit, the court heard. The girl cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect her identity.

On June 19, Lee was in the mall on his way to the restroom when he noticed the young girl walking near a bicycle bay and decided to follow her. 

The girl had just had a disagreement with her brother that evening while visiting the shopping centre to buy food, and decided to walk home on her own, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Derek Ee said.

Upon noticing her, Lee approached her to ask if she could show him the way to the supermarket in the mall. 

She agreed and as they walked towards the mall, Lee touched her buttocks five times with the back of his hand.

At this point, “the victim felt insulted and tried to create some distance” from Lee, DPP Ee said.

When they reached the mall entrance, Lee tried to get her to follow him down a different route but the girl declined and walked into the mall instead. 

Lee followed her and began asking her personal questions, including where she lived, where she studied, her age, height and whether she had a boyfriend.

As she answered some of his questions, Lee asked her again to follow him.

“Come, let’s go,” Lee said, according to DPP Ee. But the girl refused, saying she was waiting for her father. 

After Lee walked away, the girl returned home to tell her father about what had happened. 

The father brought her back to the shopping centre to confront Lee at his workplace. Lee apologised and claimed that he was only asking the girl for directions.

But his acts were captured by surveillance cameras at the shopping centre and Lee admitted to doing so as he “felt the urge to do so”, DPP Ee said.

“He knew that by doing so, he would outrage the modesty of the victim. He thought that she was innocent and naive and thought that he could deceive her by asking her to show him the way to NTUC Fairprice,” he added.

District Judge Shawn Ho asked for reports to be called for to assess his suitability for probation, usually offered to first-time offenders aged between 16 and 21, as well as for reformative training, a regimented rehabilitation programme for offenders under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.

He also ordered Lee to be held in remand for a week and asked that his family members, who were in court on Thursday, return for a court mention next week. 

Lee will be sentenced at a later hearing. He is represented by lawyer Ryan Yu from Aspect Law Chambers.

For molesting a minor under 14 years of age, offenders could face up to five years’ jail or a fine or caning, or any combination of these punishments.
 

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