Doctor acquitted of molesting patient, judge points to unconvincing and inconsistent testimony
SINGAPORE: A 48-year-old doctor was acquitted on Monday (Mar 8) of molesting a 24-year-old female patient in his clinic, with the judge finding the woman's testimony inconsistent and unconvincing.
She did not find the woman's evidence to be "unusually convincing", and found her boyfriend's behaviour in approaching the doctor "highly unusual".
Dr Lui Weng Sun had contested one charge of molesting the Vietnamese national at Northeast Medical Group clinic in Block 39 Jalan Tiga on Nov 6, 2017.
The woman claimed he had pulled down her bra cup, placed a stethoscope on her breast and touched her breast area.
According to the woman's boyfriend, Dr Lui had said he needed to "check the things inside" such as the liver, lungs and heart. The boyfriend later made a police report.
Dr Lui, who was defended by a team of lawyers led by Mr Shashi Nathan, called the allegations "outrageous" and "ridiculous", saying that he "definitely did not do it" and that he would "never molest patients".
According to Dr Lui, the woman's boyfriend called him afterwards and said things like: "I don't know about you doctors, you have money and lawyers, and (I'm) also afraid of threatening you."
Dr Lui claimed that the boyfriend wanted compensation and said: "To me, this is a small matter, but to you, it's a very big matter."
JUDGE EXPLAINS CONTRADICTIONS IN TESTIMONY
District Judge Jasvender Kaur on Monday said she found the woman's evidence "confusing and contradictory" in some parts. She gave differing accounts of what allegedly happened in her police statements and in court.
In her police statements, the woman said Dr Lui had pulled her shirt up once, but said this was two times when testifying in court.
She also did not say in her police statements that a clinic assistant had opened the door during her consultation. She said in court at first that the assistant had knocked, but when confronted with evidence that she did not, she said she heard a knock.
She also did "a sudden about turn" when questioned in court if she was sure that Dr Lui had placed his stethoscope above her breast after the assistant left the room, and changed her evidence to say she could not recall.
Referring to her testimony that Dr Lui had lifted her shirt twice, the judge said: "I fail to see why she could not give a consistent version in the police statement."
Another inconsistency was in relation to the woman's bra cup. She said in court that the bra cup was turned downwards before she was molested, but had told the police that her bra was pulled down.
The police officer testified that the woman had not told him the bra cup was turned outwards, instead using both hands to gesture that her bra was pulled down.
"If only one bra cup was turned upwards to expose her breast, the complainant could have done this to show (the officer). There's no explanation why she described it with an inconsistent gesture," said the judge.
She added that she failed to see why the woman's boyfriend had to further engage with Dr Lui after calling him once. During his second phone call, he told Dr Lui that the police may not let the matter go even if they settled it privately.
"He said this matter 'affects you greatly but does not matter to us'," said Judge Kaur. "(He said) 'you should know very well this matter affects you doctors greatly'. He knew the stakes were high for the accused."
"I find his conduct to want to engage with the accused after the first call highly unusual," she said.