Elderly man waited at lift lobby to molest mentally disabled woman

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
June 3, 2022

An elderly man was no stranger to a mentally disabled woman as the two had frequent interactions.

But things took a criminal turn when he approached the 28-year-old woman after she stepped out of a lift at her block of flats and molested her on Sept 17, 2019.

The man, 72, was on Friday (June 3) sentenced to 15 months' jail after he pleaded guilty to a molestation charge and was also given an additional three months' jail in lieu of caning as he cannot receive any lashes due to his age.

Details about the man, the nature of his relationship with the woman and the location where the crime took place cannot be revealed owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Bharat S. Punjabi said that the woman had been diagnosed with mild to moderate intellectual disability as well as autism spectrum disorder.

He added: "The victim has also been assessed to be unable to demonstrate the capacity to consent to sexual acts.

"By virtue of her mental disability, the victim is incapable of protecting herself from abuse and is thereby a vulnerable adult."

On the morning of Sept 17, 2019, the elderly man saw the woman at the void deck of her block of flats and after talking to her, found out that she would be returning home at around 4pm that day.

He left his home that afternoon and waited at a lift lobby near her flat.

The man then molested her as she was walking home at around 4.15pm.

A nearby closed-circuit television camera belonging to one of the victim's neighbours captured him committing the offence.

The neighbour alerted the victim's older brother, who lodged a police report at around 9am on Sept 18, 2019.

Officers arrested the molester later that day.

For molesting a vulnerable person, an offender can be jailed for up to three years and fined or caned.

The man cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.

The Straits Times

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