In a disturbing incident on the Circle Line MRT, a woman experienced a traumatic encounter that shook her to the core. The accused, a man who allegedly exposed his genitals, faced trial, denying the charges and portraying himself as a victim of the “MeToo” movement, according to a judgment released on 26 January.
The Incident Unfolds
On October 14, 2019, during the morning rush hour, the victim felt a series of bumps on her back and thigh while commuting from Serangoon station to Paya Lebar as she stood next to the train doors of the crowded cabin.
She then moved slightly away from the source of the bumps, but felt it on her thigh between one to five times after that.
Looking down to see what was bumping into her, to her horror, she discovered the man’s exposed genitals covered by a yellow plastic bag above it. She had seen the tip of his private parts and “a little bit more”. The victim’s shock and disgust were palpable as she confronted the man.
The two then got off and Tai Seng MRT station and proceeded to the control station where the staff were alerted, and the police were later called in before arresting the man.
The Trial and Denial
The accused vehemently denied the allegations during the trial, dismissing the victim’s claim as “bullsh-t” and portraying himself as a victim of the “MeToo” movement. The defense argued that his decision not to flee but follow the victim to the station indicated innocence, a claim refuted by the prosecution.
The judge, while acknowledging the robust defense, found the victim’s testimony unusually convincing. The consistency of her account, both at the station and in subsequent WhatsApp messages, played a crucial role in the judgment. The act of indecency, compounded by the exposure of the genitals, was deemed more egregious.
The victim suffered psychological harm, as revealed during the trial. Her feelings of violation, disgust, and nausea were evident, impacting her ability to focus on work. Post-incident, she altered her commute routine, opting for a backpack as a protective measure and avoiding the Circle Line.
Sentencing and Appeal
The judge, considering the severity of the offense and the psychological trauma inflicted on the victim, sentenced the man to six months in jail. Despite the man’s appeal against the conviction, the judge maintained that the trial’s conduct did not warrant an increase in the sentence.