Prison officer convicted of molesting male inmate
Veteran prison officer convicted of repeatedly molesting inmate. When inmate protested, he said: 'Officer sayang you'
It started with him stroking the arm of a young prison inmate last July.
The next month, he grabbed the 20-year-old man's buttocks.
By October, he had gone on to squeeze his victim's private parts.
The prison officer of 27 years, Mohamed Faris Osman, 47, was yesterday convicted on nine counts of outrage of modesty after an eight-day trial.
District Judge May Mesenas found that Faris, a sergeant in the Singapore Prison Service, had abused his position and had repeatedly molested the inmate at Admiralty West Prison last year.
In her submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Stephanie Koh said that Faris, a logistics officer, was assigned to supervise inmates in an Internal Working Party every day.
The team of about five men performed maintenance and cleaning work in the prison.
His victim, a Chinese national who was jailed from April 16 to Nov 26 last year, was one of them.
DPP Koh said the victim was sweeping the floor in July when Faris stroked his right arm while making a moaning sound.
Though the inmate told Faris that he did not like the action, Faris poked his buttocks with the antenna of a walkie-talkie the following month.
Faris also grabbed the inmate's right buttock for a few seconds on Aug 19.
When the inmate asked why he had done that, Faris replied: "Officer sayang (love in Malay) you."
Faris touched the man's right buttock again two days later, gave a thumbs-ups and said: "Nice."
In September, he poked the inmate's buttocks again with his walkie-talkie antenna.
Later that month, he told his victim, "I love you", before squeezing his private parts twice.
ARE YOU CRAZY?
This sparked an exchange between them.
Inmate: "Are you crazy?"
Faris: "Officer sayang you, why you no sayang officer?"
Inmate: "If you really sayang me, you will not do that."
The court heard that Faris molested the inmate three times on Oct 16 by patting his right buttock and then rubbing his private parts.
DPP Koh said Faris also simulated a sex act with a baton before hurting his victim by again squeezing his private parts.
The offences came to light when Rehabilitation Officer (RO) Jayrius Tan Yee Boon noticed the inmate looking depressed later that day.
After the inmate told RO Tan about his ordeal, RO Tan e-mailed the prison superintendent and made a report to the police on Oct 22.
DPP Koh said the inmate had not reported the abuse to the prison authorities because he was worried about retribution from Faris.
She added: "He was worried his date of release from prison would be affected by his complaint against a prison officer."
Faris' lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh, earlier told the court that his client had denied committing any molest.
Denying that Faris had patted the inmate's buttock on Oct 16, he said Faris had instead tapped the side of the inmate's hip to make him complete his work faster.
Mr Singh also said that Faris had accidentally tapped the inmate's groin area that day.
"It is also highly unlikely and improbable that the accused, an experienced officer, would risk his career and life by doing the acts alleged under the very noses of his superiors, he added.
But Judge Mesenas found no reason to doubt the inmate's evidence, saying: "He was even prepared to tolerate these instances of humiliation and not have any 'conflict' with the prison officers as he did not want his sentence to be 'increased'.
Finding Faris to be an untruthful witness, the judge said: "I would treat the evidence of the accused with caution."
Faris is out on $10,000 bail and will be back in court on July 8.
For each count of outrage of modesty, he can be jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of such punishments.