8 weeks in prison for a construction worker who followed a 13-year-old girl home, harassed her for “sex, sex, sex”

SINGAPORE – A 28-year-old man was sentenced to eight weeks in prison on Friday June 3 for sexually harassing a 13-year-old schoolgirl after he followed her home from MRT station Marsiling.

When Hossain Mohammad Akram’s attempts were foiled by the victim’s neighbour, he followed a 16-year-old girl into the elevator and chased her out.

She managed to get home and lock the door to her apartment, but he tried to open it while grabbing her crotch over his pants at the same time. He quickly fled and was arrested at a nearby bus stop.

On Friday, Hossain, a Bangladeshi who worked here as a construction worker, pleaded guilty to a charge of using criminal force on the girl and harassing her.

Another trespassing charge was considered for sentencing. He was not charged with any offense against the eldest daughter.

The girls cannot be named due to court orders to protect their identity.

WANTED TO ‘DO SEX’

The court heard Hossain struck on April 7 this year.

A 13-year-old boy was walking home from school when he started following her from behind at Marsiling MRT station. He then got on the same bus as her and got off when she did.

During the investigations, he said he had tailed her “to have sex” and that it was for her “mental peace”.

When the victim noticed him staring at her at the bus stop, she stood in the corner until he walked away.

Thinking he was gone, she went to the elevator lobby of the building where she lived and pressed the button for the elevator. He then introduced himself once more, entered the elevator first, and motioned for her to follow him.

She had previously learned to press the elevator button for the level below her home, and then to go up the stairs, if suspicious people were in the elevator with her.

Hossain didn’t push any buttons. Instead, he stood with his arms crossed and stared at her.

The victim left the elevator when the doors opened and Hossain followed her. He then held onto her elbow and said, “Sex, sex, sex.”

This prompted her to scream for help, but he clung to her backpack to keep her from leaving.

The victim’s 27-year-old neighbor was about to close the gate to his own apartment when he heard her.

Seeing the neighbor, Hossain dropped his backpack.

She managed to escape to the neighbor’s apartment. When the neighbor asked Hossain what he wanted, he replied “no problem, no problem” and returned to the elevator.

Thinking he was gone, the neighbor decided to take the victim home. But when the elevator doors opened to reveal Hossain once more, the victim ran to the neighbor’s house.

The neighbor continued to watch Hossain from a distance and saw him break into another unit by pulling the door handle. Hossain only left after the neighbor and occupants of the unit told him to.

FEEL SOMETHING WRONG

Hossain then took the elevator back down to the ground floor and saw a 16-year-old girl pass by.

As he started to follow her, she walked faster because she sensed something was wrong with him. He rode the elevator with her and followed her as she moved to avoid him.

She told him to stop and ran out of the elevator when the doors opened. He started chasing her and she ran up the stairs, arrived at her house, opened the door and locked it before he could reach her.

He then tried to open it, but was unsuccessful, and had a hand on his crotch over his pants. She closed the main door before telling her aunt and uncle what was going on.

The neighbor of the first victim, who had continued to watch Hossain after he fled earlier, confronted him. Hossain then fled, but was arrested by police at the bus stop.

He told officers he also followed the eldest daughter for sex.

On Friday, the prosecution asked for the sentence to be handed down, while Hossain asked for leniency through an interpreter. “I am sincerely sorry for the offenses and also full of remorse for my misdeeds. I won’t do it again in the future,” he said.

Those found guilty of using criminal force against a person can be imprisoned for up to three months or fined up to S$1,500, or both.

For causing harassment, alarm or distress, Hossain could have been jailed for up to six months or fined up to S$5,000, or both.

Alice F. Ponder