NUS Student Who Molested A Woman Will Not Be Jailed As He Has 'Potential To Excel In Life'

The judge placed her confidence in the 23-year-old NUS undergraduate student, saying he will not reoffend and disappoint her.

Cover image via David Sun/TNP

A 23-year-old student from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who pleaded guilty to outraging the modesty of a woman at Serangoon MRT station last year will avoid jail time

District Judge Jasvender Kaur instead sentenced him to 21 months of supervised probation, saying that the NUS student, identified as Terence Siow Kai Yuan, has the "potential to excel in life".

According to a report in The New Paper, judge Jasvender rejected calls from the prosecution for Siow to be handed a jail term. She justified her decision by describing his three instances of touching his victim as "minor intrusions".

"Looking at the nature of the intrusion, I would say it is minor," the judge said.

"He was 22 years old when he committed the offences... and the nature of the acts (is) relatively minor," she added while noting his academic results.

"I think there can be no doubt that there is an extremely strong propensity for reform."

The NUS undergrad Terence Siow Kai Yuan.

Image via David Sun/The New Paper

The judge said Terence Siow had an "inability to control his urges"

When Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Chan urged the court to jail Siow for six weeks, noting that he had admitted to committing similar acts since he enrolled in NUS in 2016, judge Jasvender acknowledged this but reiterated that "they were minor".

According to the judge, two of Siow's acts involving skin-to-skin contact were "just a brief touch on the thigh", The New Paper reported.

While Siow could have been jailed for up to two years, fined and/or caned for each count of outrage of modesty, the judge sentenced Siow to supervised probation, saying, "I have every confidence you will not reoffend and hope you don't disappoint me."

She also ordered him to perform 150 hours of community service, and his parents were bonded for SGD5,000 (approximately RM15,000) to ensure his good behaviour.

On the night of the incident on 12 September 2018, Siow was on a train on the North-East Line heading towards Punggol station

He noticed a woman with "very long legs" wearing a pair of shorts and sat next to her, according to the court document, which also stated his "urge" to touch the woman.

Detailing the incident as it happened next, The New Paper reported that Siow used his left hand to touch the outside of her right thigh.

When she shifted away from him and crossed her legs, he touched her right thigh again, forcing her to move to another seat before alighting at Serangoon station.

However, Siow followed her as he felt the urge to touch her again, the court heard.

He stood behind her in an escalator and used his finger to touch her buttocks over her shorts. This made the woman turn around and shout at him.

Following this, she told a station officer that she had been molested and pointed out Siow and made a police report about an hour and a half later.

The police arrested Siow at Hougang Avenue 5 three days later.

The victim, whose identity cannot be revealed due to a court-imposed gag order, has since expressed disappointment, adding that she is, however, "not surprised" by the outcome of the case

Mothership reported her describing Siow's actions as "premeditated and calculated".

According to her, she did not feel a sense of closure about the incident.

After learning about the outcome of the case, the woman took to Facebook to express her thoughts on the case, a screenshot of which was first published by Mothership.

Image via Mothership

In another incident earlier this year, a 'Peeping Tom' from NUS was given a one-term suspension and a 12-month conditional warning:

Closer to home, a 41-year-old man was recently brought to trial for raping and impregnating his 12-year-old daughter: