By Kai Fong – December 3rd, 2010
Police have arrested a 23-year-old student believed to be linked to a series of molest cases at a tertiary institution in Ang Mo Kio.
Dubbed the “sleeping girls” molester, the Nanyang Polytechnic (NYP) student allegedly prowled the campus library, preying only on unsuspecting students who had fallen asleep at their study desks or corners, reported The Straits Times (ST).
He would allegedly approach them from the back and stroke their thighs, legs or backs, fleeing when the victims woke up.
Preliminary investigations revealed that he is believed to have molested at least four NYP students, with two incidents taking place last month.
Police arrested the suspect at his residence in Bukit Batok Street 31 on Wednesday.
Among the items seized from his home was stolen lingerie, which did not appear to belong to any of the women he is believed to have molested.
While it is not known whether the suspect is still attending classes, the school has arranged for the affected students to receive counselling.
“We are also in touch with them and their families to provide any further support and assistance,” said a spokesman from NYP, adding that it would be “inappropriate” to comment further as the case was still under investigation.
All 30 students that ST spoke to did not know about the arrest. Many were shocked to know that the molest incidents happened in public view in the school library, which they say is almost always full until it closes each weeknight at 9pm.
The library has two closed circuit television screens at the librarian’s lobby that broadcast footage of certain areas in both the lower and upper floors of the library.
But some say that they are not surprised.
“The resting corners and the café on the lower floor are safe because the concept is very open, but I can’t say the same for the upper floor.”
“It is so crowded, he could easily have committed the act and disappeared,” said first-year manufacturing engineering student Muhammad Shakil, 17.
Several parents of NYP students have also expressed worry over the incidents.
“The school needs to step up their security. As parents, we trust them to be responsible for the students when they are in school,” said Madam Cindy Teo, 47, whose daughter is a student in NYP.
If found guilty of outrage of modesty, the suspect could be jailed up to two years, fined and caned.
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