SINGAPORE: The general practitioner accused of raping his patient chose not to say anything to police officers even as he observed them taking the “wrong pair of underwear” from his house for investigations, prosecutors said on Thursday (May 24).
Wee Teong Boo, 67, is on trial for allegedly raping his patient, who was then a 23-year-old student, in 2015 during a late-night consultation at his clinic in Bedok. The victim, who cannot be named due to a gag order, had made a police report the day after the alleged crime took place.
Wee was cross-examined by prosecutors as he took the stand on Thursday, the 10th day of the trial.
The court heard that the day after the alleged crime took place, three police officers had gone to Wee’s clinic and informed him that a complaint had been made against him. Shortly after that, officers accompanied Wee to his home to seize the clothes he had been wearing the day the alleged crime took place.
During the cross-examination by Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz, Wee admitted that he saw police officer ASP Razali Razak retrieve the wrong pair of underwear from the laundry basket. He did not tell the police that he was still wearing the underwear they were looking for.
When asked by the DPP why he did not clarify or explain this to ASP Razali at that time, Wee responded that he “chose not to”. Upon further questioning, he explained that he did not think the police would have believed him.
“A lot of things were crossing my mind at that time,” he added.
When further pressed, Wee muttered, “If the police want to be stupid, there’s nothing I can do.” He later apologised for the remark.
The underwear Wee had been wearing at the time the alleged crime took place was seized two days later.
GLOVES DURING PELVIC EXAMS NOT MANDATORY: WEE
Prosecutors also raised more questions about why Wee had not put on gloves or used lubricant during the pelvic examination he had performed on the alleged victim, which involved him inserting two fingers into her vagina.
Wee had earlier explained that he did not use gloves or lubricant as he was “caught off-guard” and his mind was in “pure examination mode”.
In response to questions from prosecutors, Wee agreed he was concerned when the police officers showed up at his clinic the day after the alleged crime took place.
He added that as he had not been told what the complaint was about, his “mind had jumped” to the pelvic examination he had performed the night before.
That was because, contended DPP Sripathy-Shanaz, Wee knew that what he had done the night before was wrong.
This was disputed by Wee, who pointed out that it is not mandatory for gloves to be used during pelvic examinations. “It is recommended (to wear gloves), but not mandatory,” he said.
In response, the DPP asked Wee if he thought it was “logical” that his mind had jumped to the pelvic examination because he had accepted that it was wrong.
“That (examination) was the only thing I could think of,” Wee responded.
He explained that the patient may have interpreted that he was “doing something out of the ordinary”.
“To her, that might be inappropriate.”
Wee was charged with rape and molest on Feb 24 last year. If convicted of rape, he faces 20 years in jail and a fine.
The maximum penalty for outrage of modesty is two years’ jail, fine, caning, or any combination of punishments. However, as Wee is above 50 years old, no caning will be imposed.
The trial continues on Friday, with the prosecution expected to continue their cross-examination of Wee.