A Singapore Armed Forces regular yesterday admitted trying to molest a schoolgirl after waiting for her to come out of the lift.
In January 2018, about four months before the incident, Mohamed Ardlee Iriandee Mohamed Sanip, 40, had molested an eight-year-old girl in Tampines.
In May 2018, he struck again. He had spotted the Primary Four pupil returning home from school after her remedial class.
He then ran up the stairs to the second storey and waited for her to leave the lift.
When she came out, he placed his hand on her shoulder and pushed her towards the staircase landing.
When the girl neared the doorway of her unit, she tried to break free and scream.
But Ardlee covered her mouth with his hand and pulled her towards the corner of the staircase landing, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana said.
But the victim continued to scream and resist, bending down to weaken Ardlee's grip on her.
Ardlee, who was based at Safti Military Institute in Jurong, eventually released her and drove back to his workplace.
The victim, crying and shaking, then told her aunt what had happened and her cousin called the police.
The police identified Ardlee as he was in his army attire.
He was arrested the next day.
Ardlee admitted he had developed a fondness for young girls about six months prior to the offence after reading about paedophilia online and reading news articles about sexual offences. He would then search the Internet for nude pictures of young girls.
On the day of the incident, he had driven to the carpark near the victim's home in search of a suitable target.
Ardlee's mobile phones were seized and his search history revealed he had searched for primary school hours, gate timings, how to muffle noise, and how to cover someone's mouth with a scarf.
His search history also included news articles regarding outrage of modesty, as well as photographs and videos of young nude models, and voyeuristic videos from changing rooms, showers, and upskirt videos.
Ardlee is expected to be sentenced on April 20.
This article was first published in The New Paper. Permission required for reproduction.