JOHOR BARU: A 67-year-old school van attendant faces two charges of sexually abusing an eight-year-old girl three years ago.
The accused pleaded not guilty after the charges were read to him in Mandarin by the court interpreter before Sessions Court judge Datuk Ahmad Kamal Arifin Ismail here on Tuesday (Dec 20).
According to the first charge, the accused, who is single, had attempted to create child pornography inside a school van between March and July 2019.
The act is an offence under Section 7 of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017 (Act 792) for using a child in a pornographic film, and carries up to 20 years in prison and at least five strokes of the cane upon conviction.
The second charge was for sexually assaulting the victim by touching her thigh with sexual intent inside a school van between May and June 2019.
The offence under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Offences Against Children Act 2017, for physical sexual assault on a child, provides for imprisonment of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.
The prosecution was conducted by Deputy Public Prosecutor Danial Munir, while the accused was not represented.
During the proceeding, Danial asked the court to deny bail for fear that the accused might try to disturb the victim and her family as he is still working as a van attendant and uses the same route to school as the victim.
Danial had also requested the additional conditions that the accused must report to the nearest police station every month, hand over his passport to the court, and not harass the victim and her family.
However, if the court did allow bail, Danial requested it to be set at RM35,000 for each charge.
In his defence, the accused pleaded for lower bail as he could only afford around RM1,000.
The court then set RM10,000 bail for both charges with one surety, along with the additional terms.
It also ordered the accused to apply to the National Legal Aid Foundation as he could not afford a lawyer, and set Jan 25 for next mention.
As of noon Tuesday, he had yet to post bail and remained in the lockup.-The Star