An Indonesian PhD student who boarded an MRT train during the evening peak hour pressed his groin against a 20-year-old woman's buttock.
Irfan Syanjaya, 26, was taking the train from Buona Vista to Jurong East on Aug 12 last year when he deliberately positioned himself close behind the victim, a student.
The court heard that although the train was initially crowded, the crowd thinned after Dover Station. Nevertheless, Irfan continued to stand close to the victim even though he could move away.
Between Dover and Clementi, she first felt the accused touching her left buttock. She tried to step away from him, but he touched her again after Clementi Station.
The victim confronted Irfan, who immediately apologised. Other commuters came forward to help her, and Irfan was detained at Jurong East.
For outraging her modesty, he was sentenced to six weeks' jail yesterday after a two-day trial.
Irfan, who was unrepresented, maintained that he had touched the victim accidentally.
When District Judge Christopher Goh mentioned that he had been standing "unusually close to the victim", Irfan said through a translator: "She seemed to have no negative thoughts about me so I did not move away."
Three witnesses testified that they had seen Irfan make purposeful contact with the victim's buttock. One said Irfan was standing close enough to the victim to whisper into her ear.
At the time, Irfan was pursuing a PhD in electrical and computer engineering at the National University of Singapore. His current status at the university is unclear.
This article was first published on May 27, 2015.
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