Parti Solidariti Tanah Airku Rakyat Sabah's (STAR) former Putatan parliamentary coordinator was charged with five counts of molesting two women at the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate's Court today, 10 June
The 52-year-old politician, Phillip Among @ Daniel Dell Fidelis, claimed trial to four counts of molesting an Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) pageant contestant and a charge of molesting another woman.
Phillip was charged under Section 354 of the Penal Code before magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun.
Section 354 of the Penal Code carries a maximum of 10 years imprisonment and a fine and whipping or any two of the three punishments, upon conviction.
The accused politician was, however, released on bail
Magistrate Jessica allowed the bail of RM8,000 for each case totalling RM40,000 with two local sureties.
She also gave additional conditions that the accused surrender his passport to the court until the disposal of the case and ordered him to report himself once a month to the nearest police station.
According to New Straits Times, the Kota Kinabalu Magistrate's Court stressed that the accused and/or his representatives were restricted from communicating with the victim and/or the victim's family.
Phillip has been charged with molesting an 18-year-old girl one time in April and molesting an Unduk Ngadau contestant four times in May
On the first count, Phillip is reportedly accused of using criminal force with the intention to outrage the modesty of the 18-year-old in the living room of Jesselton Capsule Inn in Asia City at 11pm on 17 April.
On the second to fifth counts, the 52-year-old was accused of molesting the Unduk Ngadau contestant four times at various places between 2pm and 10pm on 19 May.
The Unduk Ngadau contestant had lodged a police report on the matter on 21 May. Following which, the STAR politician was nabbed by police midway through a press conference on 3 June.
Phillip, who has a wife and two children aged six and eight, was described by his lawyers as a responsible businessman and family man
They argued that their client is "not a demonised sexual predator".
"Like any man, he may have weaknesses but we are not judging him on his weaknesses, we are judging him as to whether he is a criminal, a criminal who assaults or uses criminal force to obtain sex from his victims. We cannot turn physical consensual actions of affection between adults into a Section 354 offence," Marcel Jude Joseph, one of the lawyers representing Phillip, told the court.
His other lawyer Abdul Fikry Jaafar Abdullah had asked for the bail amount of RM2,000 for each of the charges after deputy public prosecutor Siti Amirah Muhammad Ali proposed the bail of RM20,000 totalling RM100,000 for each of the charges with two local sureties.
The court has fixed 14, 21, and 22 July for pre-trial case management.