Couple Fined for Indecent Act
Times, January 5, 2005
A COUPLE who had oral sex at a
staircase in Orchard Towers were each fined $500 yesterday for indecent
Singaporean Aruselvan Krishnadas, 32, a security officer,
and Filipina Esmeralda Feliciano Dalida, 41, who works here as a maid, were
caught in the act by a security guard.
A magistrate’s court heard that the pair had met on the
afternoon of July 4 last year at a tea dance party at a pub in Middle Road.
They went to Orchard Towers for dinner and later
proceeded to the Level 3 staircase of the building to have oral sex.
At about 7.30pm, a cleaner approached a security guard to
report noises coming from the staircase.
On checking, Mr Ramli Zakaria saw Dalida perform oral sex
on Aruselvan. He shouted at them to stop and called the police.
The maximum punishment for indecent behaviour, an
offence under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance) Act, is a
$1,000 fine or one month in jail.
Was Indecent Behaviour The Correct Charge?
Times, January 8, 2005
I READ the report ‘Couple fined
for indecent act’ (ST, Jan 5). The pair went to Orchard Towers and proceeded
to the Level 3 staircase to have oral sex. A cleaner who heard noises from the
staircase alerted a security guard who checked and caught the pair in the act.
They were fined $500 each for indecent behaviour.
What interests me is the term ‘indecent behaviour’ on
which they were charged and convicted. According to the report, indecent
behaviour comes under the Miscellaneous Offences (Public Order and Nuisance)
It would be understandable if they were charged under the
act forbidding oral sex. It would also be understandable if they were charged
with committing such an act in a public place (the Level 3 staircase).
What puzzles is the charge of indecent behaviour. Where
does the indecency come in?
Both oral sex and sex per se in a public place are
covered by law and can be applied according to law.
However, for something to be indecent it has to be
witnessed by someone else who unwittingly passes the public area and is upset
by the behaviour.
As far as I see, the couple took pains to conceal
themselves on a deserted third-level staircase. The act did not take place in
an area of constant or regular public traffic, so as not to be seen by anyone.
In other words, there was no intention to make a show of
their actions. They were caught only because of a cleaner who informed a
The guard went to the place where the action was taking
place (as was his duty to investigate). He was not invited there, by the
couple, to see the show. Under such circumstances, where concealment was the
order of the day (or the night), where was the indecency?
A thief who commits the felony of breaking into and
entering a house with intent to steal is charged with the relevant felony, not
with dishonest behaviour.
In like manner, why were the couple not charged with oral
sex or sex in a public area?
An act without a spectator cannot be indecent because
indecency arises from someone seeing it and being morally offended. There was
no intention to display the action to the guard who encroached on the act and
it was the intention, at all times, to avoid detection.
Is a girl’s modesty outraged if she is unaware of a
naked man on a deserted staircase? There must be awareness before modesty is
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