But here’s the thing. Contrary to popular belief, adult women aren’t the only ones at risk.
Sometimes, even children as young as 13-years-old may be forced to deal with such harassment.
Serial Molester Molests Two Girls After Getting Out On Bail
According to The Straits Times, a serial molester, who had been in and out of jail since 2002, re-offended a mere month after he was released last year, outraging the modesty of two women in February and March respectively.
He also molested two 13-year-old girls while out on bail later on.
According to the news report, Vaz Clive Hilary Cheng Kiat was released from prison on 19 January last year.
Despite his new lease of freedom, Cheng chose to disregard it and outraged the modesty of a 31-year-old woman in February and that of a 24-year-old woman on 9 March 2019.
He was arrested just three days later and was granted bail.
However, it seems that the serial molester was unable to keep his hands to himself, as he struck again in separate incidents on buses.
This time around, his victims were teenage girls.
On 25 May 2019, one of the victims was sitting on the upper deck of the bus 190, beside her sister and behind her parents, when Cheng boarded the bus and sat behind her.
He then molested the 13-year-old girl through a gap between the seat and the window.
Though her parents were nearby, the teenager refrained from speaking up as she was scared and wasn’t sure how to react.
She only told her mother after they alighted near Ion Orchard shopping mall later that evening.
Cheng was subsequently charged for the offence, before being released on bail on 17 July this year.
One Man Reportedly Refused To Help The Second Victim
On 3 August 2020, Cheng went for his second teenage victim, another 13-year-old girl who was on her way home from school.
According to The Straits Times, they were sitting at the upper deck of bus service 43 at about 2:45 p.m. that day, when he molested her.
He had reportedly reached for her waist through a gap between the seats and rested his fingers on her left waist.
Apparently, the girl began shouting at Cheng, who reportedly raised both palms and apologised before getting up.
At this point, the girl asked a nearby passenger for help, but the latter allegedly declined and asked her to inform the bus driver instead.
The girl went down the steps to tell the driver, who confronted Cheng.
Cheng denied the allegations.
The driver then stopped at a nearby bus stop near Asiawide Industrial Building in Pereira Road and closed the doors of the bus.
Cheng was asked to take a seat. At this point, the girl was reportedly in tears, and very shaken.
When a passenger made to alight, the driver opened the doors, only for Cheng to seize the opportunity and make a run for it.
Thankfully, the passenger managed to grab Cheng’s bag during the hot pursuit, causing the latter to fall onto the floor and sustain a fractured knee cap.
The police were alerted, and Cheng was taken to Tan Tock Seng Hospital for treatment.
According to Yahoo News, Vaz has admitted before that he routinely takes buses without a destination to “destress” and molest female passengers.
He stated that he has a fetish for touching girls from the back.
In March 2019, Vaz is believed to have taken between 13 and 29 buses a day.
His offences date back to 2002 when he touched a 19-year-old woman’s torso under her armpit.
On Monday (14 September), Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Kee En said that as a result of the incident, the second teenage victim experienced a mix of negative emotions, and developed an abhorrence of buses.
“When interviewed… (the girl) stated she was ‘very shaken’, ‘very traumatised and scared’ and ‘very outraged’,” he said.
“She blamed herself for ‘not doing better when the incident happened, like scream or fight back’. She did not wish to take buses any more.”
The 41-year-old Singaporean has since pleaded guilty to two molestation charges involving the teenagers.
He will be sentenced on 18 September.
For each count of molesting a girl below 14 years old, Cheng can face a jail term of up to five years, and a hefty fine or cane.