By Sophia Tan
A 31-year-old man was arrested last Friday morning (18 Nov) for allegedly molesting a female NTU student at Hall of Residence 1.
The 18-year-old victim had lodged a police report on 4 Nov saying she had been molested by a man along Nanyang Circle, the police said in a statement.
The man, who is not an NTU student according to the police, was charged in court with outrage of modesty a day after his arrest.
For outrage of modesty, one can be jailed for between two and 10 years and caned.
The Nanyang Chronicle understands that this follows reports from Hall 1 residents of an unknown masked man loitering around Hall grounds and attempting to enter rooms on three separate occasions over the past month.
It is not known if this man was the same one arrested.
Sarah (not her real name), a resident from Block 12, told the Chronicle that a masked man had entered her room on 16 Nov while she and her roommate were asleep.
The 21-year-old, a second-year School of Humanities and Social Sciences student, said she woke up to the sound of someone near her bed at 5.30am. Her suspicions were aroused when the person, immediately crouched down beside her chair when she got up.
As a blackout had occurred in the Hall due to heavy rain, she grabbed her mobile phone and shone it at the intruder, whom she described as a “tall and thin” man wearing a fully zipped black hoodie, with the hood over his head.
When confronted, he claimed he was making rounds to check on residents because of the blackout.
Sarah said: “I did not buy his story as a security personnel would never enter our rooms without any permission. My instincts told me to get him out of the room as soon as possible without alarming him… because he could have easily grabbed me.”
After repeatedly assuring the man that she did not need help, he left the room.
“When he walked out, he told me to stay safe, which was ironic,” she added.
Unlike the rooms in other campus residential halls, which are secured with electric locks, those in Halls 1 and 2 use key locks.
Hall 1 Junior Common Room Committee President Lai Chun Wai said that such incidents have occurred before, but his committee is unsure of how many there have been.
“The committee has been trying to push for cameras to be installed in our blocks, but it has not yet been implemented,” said Lai.
Despite news of the arrest, Hall residents are still taking additional precautions to keep themselves safe.
First-year School of Art, Design and Media student Adithi Surya, 19, said she was relieved that a suspect had been caught, but will continue with added safety precautions such as putting chairs in front of her room door.
She added: “We cannot be sure that the person arrested was the same guy who broke into the room, or whether he is just one in a group of many intruders.”