Outrage of modesty or molestation cases are fairly common in Singapore, and are widely reported in the Channel News Asia, The Straits Times and Stomp. Our Mr Ray Louis was interviewed in December 2018 on the possible consequences – Molest: Painful consequences for both parties.
In August 2018, it was reported in the Straits Times that the number of molestation cases is on the rise. The increase in outrage of modesty cases on public transport had prompted the police to launch a pilot plan for volunteers to patrol train stations to deter molesters.
- Section 354(2) stipulates stiffer punishments involving victims below 14 years of age.
- Section 73 of the Penal Code stipulates enhanced punishments for offences against maids.
- Section 354A similarly imposes stiffer sentences against offenders in “outrage of modesty” cases which involve offences committed in lifts or physical threats.
A crime may be committed if an accused takes “upskirt photos” of females. For example, section 509 of the Penal Code criminalises words or gestures intended to “insult the modesty” of women.
Intention to Commit
Mere attempts to outrage a woman’s modesty, including failed attempts to commit an offence, are also punishable under section 511 of the Penal Code.
Recently, we had two clients who were separately charged by the police under Section 354 of the Penal Code. It appeared that each of them had molested someone. If any of them were convicted of the offence, they faced the possibility of imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, a fine, caning or a combination of such punishments thereof. One of the offences had been committed in a male spa, while the other in a gym.
Once they engaged our services, we expeditiously sieved through the information they provided us with and identified the mitigating factors. Thereafter, we immediately got to drafting pre-mention representations to the police and the Attorney General’s Chambers with the view that the charges against them would be dropped.
We noted that in one of the clients, his offence was not pre-meditated and we highlighted that point to the authorities. Besides that, our client experienced difficulties in securing employment throughout his career. Having recently landed a job, a criminal record would have undeniably placed him in the same position of unemployment he had just been freed from. Additionally, our client suffered various hardships throughout his life. We elaborated on his afflictions in life and emphasised the detrimental consequences that he would have been shackled by if he were to be convicted.
For the other client, we highlighted that among other things, in the event of a criminal conviction, his career would be severely affected. This was of great concern.
Fortunately, the authorities accepted both representations and issued our clients with a stern warning. The charges against both clients were dropped and their case was disposed of within a month after they employed our services. Our clients were very grateful to the authorities for acceding to the pre-mention representations. Needless to say, our clients were very pleased with our services; both of them gave the following reviews at Singapore Legal Advise:
“Thanks to Ray and the team who has been very patient and genuine in addressing my queries during my legal case.I would strongly recommend Ray to those in need of help to settle their legal matters.Ray is a lawyer with heart and truly concern about his client. The way he approach and solve the case is very professional and ethical. Thanks Ray”
“Ray and his team are efficient! He prepared and presented pre-mention representation on my behalf to Agc for my charge on section 354 chap 224 of penal code by the police. He made changes upon my request after seeing the first draft and from the night we met and in less than 2 weeks, he got it presented to Agc!
Representations are requested to have my charges to be reduced, compounded or dropped entirely (that can assist in putting forward my version of events and substantiating it with more compassion reasons) At at about less than a week later, we got a reply from Agc that it will be a warning instead of a criminal prosecution by the Court! Tks goodness! As he is more experienced, though he is not the cheapest in town definitely, it is worth to use his services, the cost is so worth it! Do speak to him soon”
Update – Another Victory! – See Pre-mention Representations