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Pinoy jailed 21 days for indecent assault

25 October 2017

By Vir B. Lumicao
The sentencing at Eastern court followed a day-long hearing

A 45-year-old Filipino carwash worker was sentenced to 21 days in jail on Oct 24 for indecent assault at the end of a day-long trial at Eastern Court.

Billy Vega, married Hong Kong resident and father of four, was dumbfounded after Magistrate Peter Hui pronounced his sentence.

“Ano, makukulong ako?” he asked his Filipina interpreter then handed over a set of keys and his cellphone to his wife before being led away by guards.

Vega’s conviction came after the alleged victim, a local woman identified only as Miss X, gave evidence detailing the incident on July 28 this year aboard a Chai Wan-bound MTR train at Wanchai Station.

Miss X, who came from Wong Tai Sin, said she was on her way to Causeway Bay and changed trains at Admiralty. On entering the train, she stood near the door tinkering with her mobile phone.

The incident happened after the victim got on
the train at Admiralty station 
“Then I felt something hard bumping my (private part) and I felt pain. It lasted for about 3 seconds,” the victim said in Cantonese.

When she looked down, she said she saw Vega’s right fist with his palm facing upward thrusting at her private parts. She said she stepped back and accosted the defendant in Cantonese, asking him three or four times why he touched her.

But the defendant simply looked at her and did not answer, she said.      

“If you don’t answer, I will press the emergency button,” she allegedly told Vega, who remained silent. She pressed the red button when the train had left Tin Hau Station, and by the time they
arrived at Fortress Hill Station, MTR staff were waiting for them.

Vega was arrested on the same day and charged with one count of indecent assault. He pleaded not guilty to the charge, so the case went to trial.

Hui said in his reasons for verdict that he believed the testimony of Miss X, the lone prosecution witness who gave her evidence behind a makeshift synthetic board cover. The magistrate described the victim as an honest and credible witness.

He also noted that the defense counsel had claimed the incident was purely accidental, suggesting that the defendant was pushed from behind by another passenger on the train, causing him to lurch and touch the victim accidentally.

But Hui said the assault happened at around 10:40 am, when the train was not packed.

Hui also said the defense did not provide proof that the physical contact with Miss X was unintentional, and elected not to take the witness stand.

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