KOTA KINABALU: A local businessman pleaded not guilty at the Magistrate's Court here today to five counts of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of two women, in April and May this year.

Philip Among @ Daniel Dell Fidelis, 52, was charged with using criminal force with intent to outrage the modesty of a woman at an inn here at 11 pm on April 17.

For the next four charges, he was accused of having committed a similar offence to an Unduk Ngadau (Harvest Queen) contestant, at various locations in Kota Kinabalu, from 2 pm to 10 pm on May 19.

Philip was charged under Section 354 of the Penal Code which provides for a jail term of up to 10 years or a fine or whipping, or any two punishments, if convicted.

Magistrate Jessica Ombou Kakayun allowed a RM8,000 bail for each charge in two local sureties, and the court fixed July 14, 21 and 22, for case management.

Deputy public prosecutor, Siti Amirah Muhammad Ali, prosecuted, while the accused was represented by lawyer, Marcel Jude.

Unduk Ngadau is a traditional beauty pageant, held annually during the Kaamatan Festival celebrated by the ethnic Kadazan-Dusuns, and also the people in the state, in the month of May.