In a disturbing incident, a 62-year-old taxi driver, Ong Tong Chye, has been handed an 11-month jail sentence after pleading guilty to one count of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a young passenger.
The incident, which occurred on January 28, 2021.
According to court documents, Ong picked up two 14-year-old boys from Westgate Mall in Jurong East after accepting a ride request made on a popular ride-hailing mobile application.
Ong arrived at Westgate Mall in Jurong East to pick up the pair, and they entered the back seat of the taxi. Throughout the drive, the three individuals engaged in casual conversation, but the other 14-year-old was dropped off first, leaving Ong alone with the victim in the taxi.
While the boys engaged in casual conversation during the ride, things took a disturbing turn when Ong and the victim started discussing topics related to homosexuality, TODAY reported.
Seizing an opportunity, Ong asked the victim to move to the front passenger seat.
Despite the victim’s initial reluctance, he complied. It was during this time that Ong made unwanted advances towards the young passenger. Ignoring the victim’s repeated rejections, Ong began touching the boy’s hand, even after being explicitly told not to. The situation escalated when Ong expressed his desire to touch the victim’s nipples.
Despite the victim firmly saying “no,” Ong proceeded to molest him while still driving the taxi. The traumatized boy attempted to push Ong away and leaned against the car door in an effort to escape the assault.
Only when the taxi arrived at the second destination did the victim manage to escape. He quickly provided a false phone number to Ong, expressing his desire to return home. After being freed from the ordeal, the shaken victim confided in his form teacher, who immediately took him to a police center to lodge a report, as per reports.
The severity of the crime became evident when Ong was sentenced to 11 months’ imprisonment for his actions. While the court documents did not disclose the specific taxi company Ong was associated with, the incident has raised concerns about passenger safety and the need for stricter measures to prevent such incidents from occurring in the future.
The offense of using criminal force to outrage modesty carries a maximum penalty of three years’ imprisonment, a fine, or both.
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