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Singapore - A 24-year-old American tourist was sentenced to nine months in prison on Wednesday for a series of sexual offences against women at backpacker hostels in Singapore.
Michael Sylvester Williams Jr faced multiple charges of molesting and invading the privacy of five women between April and June this year.
District Judge Eddy Tham said the stiff jail sentence took into account the fact that the offences took place while the victims were in a “vulnerable position”.
Court documents said one victim, a 23-year-old China national, caught Williams filming her with his mobile phone from an adjacent cubicle while she was showering.
At another hostel, Williams was caught stroking the buttocks of a 29-year-old Singaporean woman while she was sleeping.
In another incident, a Polish female tourist staying at a hostel felt her blanket being lifted while she was asleep on June 13 and someone gently stroking her back.
Lawyer Amarjit Singh Sidhu told reporters after the hearing that he had been assigned by the US embassy to hold a “watching brief” after Williams rejected legal representation.
“We are glad that the sentence of caning was not imposed,” he said.
Singh said the American had expressed genuine remorse and said he was “drunk and foolish” when he committed the offences.
He had refused legal representation because he wanted to complete his sentence and return to the Philippines where he lives with his wife, the lawyer said. - AFP