Lawyer charged with mo­lest­ing stu­dents

> Coun­sel claims vic­tims sen­sa­tion­alised case, la­bels it ‘trial by me­dia’

The Sun (Malaysia) - - NEWS WITHOUT BORDERS - BY TAMARAI CHELVI

KAJANG: A lawyer has claimed trial to a charge of mo­lest­ing a 22-year-old stu­dent and at­tempt­ing to molest an­other 20-yearold stu­dent at a con­do­minium last week.

Michael An­thony, 33, was charged with out­rag­ing the mod­esty of a col­lege stu­dent by touch­ing her but­tocks and faced an­other charge of at­tempt­ing to touch the other stu­dent’s breasts.

The first charge is un­der Sec­tion 354 of the Pe­nal Code, which is pun­ish­able with a 10-year jail term and a fine or whip­ping, or both, upon con­vic­tion.

The sec­ond charge is un­der Sec­tion 354 read to­gether with Sec­tion 511, and is pun­ish­able with five years’ jail and a fine or whip­ping, or both.

Both of­fences were al­legedly com­mit­ted at Cy­press Con­do­minium in Ban­dar Sun­gai Long at about 3.30pm on Nov 1.

News of the in­ci­dent went vi­ral on so­cial me­dia af­ter the stu­dents posted a video de­scrib­ing their or­deal.

Yes­ter­day, An­thony’s lawyer Datuk Jer­ald Gomez sought an or­der from the mag­is­trate’s court for the vic­tims not to pub­lish ev­i­dence on­line, but in­stead present such in court. The ap­pli­ca­tion was al­lowed. “In this case, a fact we can­not ig­nore is that the com­plainant has sen­sa­tion­alised the case and is giv­ing in­ter­views and mak­ing videos and post­ing them on the in­ter­net,” said Gomez.

“The ac­cused has not even had a trial or been proven guilty, but it has be­come a ‘trial by me­dia’ with­out the ac­cused’s side of the story.

“Dam­age has al­ready been done to his life and ca­reer. (By) set­ting a high bail, it would only add to the bur­den al­ready be­ing car­ried,” he said , adding that An­thony had spent five days in cus­tody.

He said his client’s past record and char­ac­ter should also be con­sid­ered while set­ting bail.

Gomez said An­thony is a mem­ber of the Malaysian Bar, has worked with the Se­cu­ri­ties Com­mis­sion, lec­tured law and is a prac­tis­ing lawyer.

DPP Natasha Chin Le Jy pro­posed RM6,000 bail for each charge but the mag­is­trate granted RM4,000 bail for the first charge and RM3,800 for the sec­ond.

An­thony leav­ing the mag­is­trate’s court yes­ter­day.

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