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Singapore

Top public servant in education sector on trial for repeatedly molesting two colleagues

SINGAPORE: A top public servant in the education sector went to trial on Monday (Feb 10) for nine counts of molesting two of his female colleagues.

The 66-year-old man cannot be named due to a gag order protecting the identities of the victims.

Several of the alleged offences took place in the building the man worked at, while those in the other charges occurred overseas.

Between March and August 2016, he is accused of molesting a 43-year-old woman on five occasions at his workplace.

The man allegedly hugged her tightly, squeezed her buttocks, and pressed his penis against her shoulder.

The man is also accused of hugging another woman, aged 55, at his workplace in June 2016.

The charges include outraging her modesty while they were overseas on work trips.

On one trip, the man is accused of allegedly caressing her. Months later, he allegedly hugged her and kissed her on her shoulder.

On a third occasion, he is accused of using criminal force on the woman by linking his arm over hers and placing her hand on his thigh.

The trial opened on Monday with all parties going into chambers. The man is defended by Drew & Napier's director of dispute resolution Gary Low and his colleague, associate director of dispute resolution Terence Tan.

The hearing is set to continue in-camera, and the trial continues for the rest of the week.

If found guilty of outraging a person's modesty, the man can be jailed for up to two years, fined, or both. He cannot be caned as he is over 50.

He is liable to be tried for the overseas charges; every public servant who is a citizen or a permanent resident of Singapore and who commits offences - which are deemed as crimes under Singapore laws - in the course of his work while overseas, is deemed to have committed offences in Singapore.

Source: CNA/ll(mn)

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