SINGAPORE: The High Court on Thursday (May 25) increased the 42-month jail term of a doctor convicted of molesting his colleague on the operating table and in a hotel room after sedating him with a powerful drug.
Aesthetic doctor Tan Kok Leong, 51, also took 27 photographs of the victim’s penis while the man, a Malaysian doctor, was unconscious.
Tan was sentenced to 42 months’ jail last year, after an 18-day trial. He had been convicted of four charges: Two for molesting the man at Oasia Hotel on Jul 5 and 6, 2013, and two for drugging him before each sexual assault.
The High Court heard that on Jul 5, after Tan had performed a liposuction procedure on the victim, he told his assistants to leave the intravenous plug in the man’s arm.
He brought the man to Oasia Hotel, where he had booked a room, and gave him Dormicum, a powerful sedative. When the victim became unconscious, Tan undressed him and took photographs of his penis “in multiple positions”, prosecutors said.
They spent the night at the hotel, and the next day Tan repeated his actions, sedating the victim again before taking more photographs of his penis.
Prosecutors said Tan had tried to “legitimise” the sexual assault by “blaming everything on the victim”. The doctor claimed he had taken the photographs because the man wanted “treatment for his curved penis”.
Tan’s appeal against his conviction and 42-month sentence was dismissed by Justice See Kee Oon, who said that “all that had taken place could not possibly be explained away as being part of a series of clinical procedures and that the (victim) had somehow consented to the acts in question”.
Besides the four charges he was convicted of, Tan had faced a fifth charge for molest, for which he was acquitted. But Justice See overturned the acquittal on Thursday and convicted Tan of molesting the same victim on Jun 6 on the operating table, while he was sedated during another liposuction procedure.
The assault was witnessed by two assistants, who testified against Tan at his trial. “The District Judge ought to have concluded that the charge was proved beyond a reasonable doubt," Justice See said.
“There was no plausible reason why (Tan’s) hand would have reached underneath the surgical drape around the (victim’s) genitals while performing a liposuction procedure around the abdominal area."
He added: "The irresistible inference to be drawn … was that he had committed the act of outrage of modesty.”
Tan was sentenced to 14 months’ jail for the Jun 6 molest. Justice See also noted that Tan’s offences would “ordinarily have attracted caning”, but Tan cannot be caned as he is over 50.
In increasing the doctor’s jail term, Justice See pointed to several aggravating features highlighted by the prosecution, including Tan’s abuse of his position as a senior medical professional, the vulnerability of the sedated victim, and that Tan had exposed the man to “serious risks involved in sedating an unmonitored patient with Dormicum in a non-hospital environment”.