This site is dedicated to issues in criminal law in Singapore, with brief write outs on various common offences and their respective prevailing sentencing, as well as the procedure of the criminal process in Singapore. The site is managed by a Singapore law firm.

Generally, sex crime can be categorised under (1) molest , (2) rape, (3) gross indecency under S377A Penal Code for cases of gross indecency, consent was not a required element of the offence. Ng Huat v PP [1995] 2SLR 783.(4) Voyeurism under 377BB, a newly amended section.


The Court has a discretion to impose a fine or a jail sentence in a molest case. Much depends on the part of the body of the victim which the Accused had contact with The offence cited in the case of Chandresh Patel v PP [1995], the prevailing sentence for victim’s private parts or sexual organs is 9 months imprisonment with caning. In the recent case of PP v GBP (2017), the Court imposed 15 to 18 months imprisonment for each of the s354 offences. For the s376A offence the sentence was 7 years.

Section 354 reads “Whoever assaults or uses criminal force to any person, intending to outrage or knowing it to be likely that he will thereby outrage the modesty of that person, shall be punished with imprisonment for a term which may extend to 2 years, or with fine, or with caning, or with any two of such punishments.”

As such an Accused often raise the defence that he had no intention to touch the victim as alleged ie the act was accidental. This is a question of fact to be inferred from the circumstances, the victim’s testimony and the Accused’s version as eye witness are not common. Most of the time, the Accused’s long statement would have sealed his fate.

Sex with Minors

This is a difficult provision to defend. Again the long statements would have sealed the fate of the Accused. Recently there were several groups of men, including professionals, that were charged and convicted of having sex with a minor. There were a couple of acquittals, but few and far between.


This is the most serious of all the sex crime. The prevailing sentence is usually quite a number of years and caning is imposed at the same time. The common defence is consensual sex, except for a case where the victim is a minor.

Gross Indecency

This is another category of sex offence, although a less serious one.


This is a very common offence. Recently in 2020, a lawyer has been jailed for a few weeks for taking upskirt videos of his colleague. A young doctor who had taken more than 3000 offending videos, was jailed for a total of 3 years.

The provisions are now much tighter than before and it is no longer a defence to argue that prosecution need to prove beyond reasonable doubt that the victim is a woman or that consent was not obtained. Possession is also an offence.

It is always in the Accused’s interest to engage a counsel early, as the case may proceed for hearing within a few months or even a few weeks (where foreign witnesses are involved) as the case may be. Early and adequate preparation are absolutely necessary as life and liberty are at stake.

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