Man gets girl to let him photograph her feet by claiming to be working for 'barefoot organisation'

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
July 20, 2023

A recalcitrant offender who was fined $8,000 in 2019 and sent to jail in 2022 for molesting multiple women by touching their feet is back behind bars over similar offences.

Tan Boon Hwee, 35, pleaded guilty on Thursday to four molestation charges and was sentenced to 13 months and four weeks’ jail.

Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said that Tan had touched women’s feet for sexual arousal.

On April 6, 2022, he was sentenced to two weeks and five days’ jail after he pleaded guilty to two molestation charges.

He did not learn his lesson after his release and targeted an 18-year-old girl as she was walking to a bus stop in Ang Mo Kio Avenue 4 at around 2.20pm on July 8, 2022.

Claiming to be doing charity work for a “barefoot organisation”, Tan approached her and asked if he could photograph her feet to purportedly support its cause.

The girl, identified in court documents as V3, agreed to his request after he told her that “it would only take a minute”.

They went to the void deck of a nearby block of flats, where Tan took photos of her feet after she sat on a bench.

When the girl removed her slippers at his request, he started to tickle her feet.

The DPP said: “V3 felt very uncomfortable and disgusted and tried to pull her feet away, but the accused prevented her from doing so by holding on to her feet.

“V3 felt very uncomfortable and disgusted by the accused’s actions. She told the accused that she was in a rush and quickly walked away.”

Soon after that, the girl found news reports online about Tan’s previous offences.

Realising that she had been molested, she texted a friend about her encounter before alerting the police.

Officers arrested Tan on July 10, 2022, and he appeared in court two days later.

He was released on bail and was at the Singapore Botanic Gardens on April 17, 2023, when he used a similar ruse on a 24-year-old woman to snap pictures of her feet.

Tan then molested the woman by touching her feet. He walked away after she turned down his request to walk barefooted with him.

She later found out about the earlier reports online and alerted the police.

Tan was re-arrested on May 2, 2023.

Besides these incidents, DPP Chew said that Tan had also touched the feet of two other victims before he was sentenced to jail on April 6, 2022.

One of them was a 17-year-old girl whom he molested in August 2020.

She finally made a police report on April 8, 2022, after coming across news reports of Tan’s earlier offences.

The Straits Times

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