SMU may impose sanctions on Lee Yan Ru if he is convicted, has enhanced campus security after alleged molestation

SMU may impose sanctions on Lee Yan Ru if he is convicted, has enhanced campus security after alleged molestation

Lee Yan Ru
Lee Yan Ru at the State Courts on Sep 7, 2020. (Photo: TODAY/Raj Nadarajan)

SINGAPORE: After a student from another university was taken to a study room at the Singapore Management University (SMU) and allegedly molested, SMU enhanced its security measures and is waiting for the court case to conclude before deciding on sanctions on the accused.

SMU told CNA in a statement on Thursday (Sep 10) that the accused, 24-year-old Lee Yan Ru, remains a student pending the outcome of his trial and the university's disciplinary proceedings.

Lee's trial opened this week. He is accused of using criminal force on a 22-year-old woman in a study room at SMU at about 6.30am on Jan 8 last year, intending to outrage her modesty.

A spokesperson for SMU said the university takes "a strong stand against any form of misconduct".

"As the case involving Lee Yan Ru was under police investigation, SMU had insufficient details of the incident in advance of the court trial," she said.

"The university’s internal investigation and disciplinary proceedings are pending the outcome of the court case. 

"If found to be guilty of student misconduct by the university, a range of sanctions, including suspension or expulsion, may be imposed on Lee depending on the severity of the misconduct disclosed."

She added that the university had further enhanced campus security features following recommendations from its student disciplinary review task and finish group last year.

Measures include locking all access points via card-access side doors and turnstiles on the ground level electronically or via roller shutters before midnight.

READ: Woman says she felt angry to be 'disrespected and degraded' by SMU student who allegedly molested her in classroom

The woman allegedly molested by Lee had met him at the school between 12.30am and 1am on the day of the incident.

The school has also installed more closed-circuit television cameras such as at building access points and in common areas. It has also enhanced coverage of the CCTV monitors outside toilets and shower facilities.

The woman had alleged during the trial that Lee followed her into the ladies' toilet.

SMU has also placed more signs warning against trespassing into toilets and shower facilities, and implemented more regular campus patrols and reviews of CCTV cameras in all its buildings and campus areas.

READ: SMU molestation trial: Defence claims woman is lying and giving 'completely illogical' account of events

The student disciplinary review also resulted in the formation of a student support unit. This unit is the first-response unit for harassment and sexual misconduct cases, and will give professional support and care to students affected by harassment and misconduct.

The prosecution closed its case on Wednesday, and both sides will meet next month to take further trial dates. The accused is set to take the stand and open the defence's case thereafter.

Source: CNA/ll(nc)

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