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Singapore

Man repeatedly molested maid, told her he can give her 'anything she wants'

Man repeatedly molested maid, told her he can give her 'anything she wants'

Photo illustration of a man committing molest. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A man who was not on good terms with his wife repeatedly molested his foreign domestic worker, even telling her he could give her "anything she wants", but was rejected by the Indonesian woman who said she wished only to do the work of a domestic helper.

Malaysian Yau Terng Phun, 56, was sentenced to jail for 15 months and six weeks on Tuesday (Oct 29) after pleading guilty to two counts of molestation and a third charge of insulting the maid's modesty.

Another five charges of molesting the woman were taken into consideration during sentencing.

The court heard that the maid was 41 when she worked for Yau's household from January 2017. About three months into her new job, the woman was in the toilet when Yau took photographs of her.

The woman saw Yau's hand at the top of the toilet door and was shocked to see him taking pictures, said Deputy Public Prosecutor R Arvindren.

She covered herself and scolded Yau, but he was unremorseful and said he was just kidding, said the prosecutor.

Yau, who is also a Singapore permanent resident, deleted the images a few days later, but his conduct escalated to outraging the modesty of the maid.

As he was not on good terms with his wife, Yau slept in a separate room while his spouse slept in a bedroom with the maid.

One night in mid-April 2017, the victim went to sleep on a mattress in the living room, as Yau's wife was having a phone conversation in the bedroom and she did not want to disturb her.

As the victim slept, Yau molested her over her pants, waking her up. 

He then slipped his hand under her clothes and touched her chest. The maid scolded him and said he had outraged her modesty.

"Instead of being remorseful, the accused replied that he can give the victim anything she wants," said the prosecutor. 

"In reply, the victim said that she only wished to do the work of a domestic maid and would not do anything sexual."

Yau then returned to his own room.

MAID FLED, TOLD MINISTRY ABOUT OFFENCES

The victim fled the household on May 29, 2017, due to Yau's behaviour, and later reported to the Ministry of Manpower (MOM) that she had been molested.

An MOM officer then made a police report.

The prosecutor had pushed for at least 17 months' jail, saying that Yau had abused his position and taken advantage of the situation, knowing that the victim was sleeping on a mattress in the living room and that there were no closed-circuit television cameras in his house.

The offences grew more and more aggravated over time, said the prosecutor, until the victim finally decided to flee.

"The victim came to work in the accused’s household to complete her chores dutifully. She came with her dignity and modesty intact and ideally should have felt safe within the confines of her employer’s household," he said. 

"Instead, the accused went on to sexually exploit the victim on multiple occasions and made the supposedly safe home a living hell for the victim."

The maximum penalties for outraging a person's modesty are two years' jail, a fine, caning, or any combination of these punishments. 

For insulting a woman's modesty, offenders can be jailed for up to a year, fined, or both.

For offences committed against maids by their employers or members of the employers' households, the penalty can go up to one-and-a-half times of the original prescribed punishments.

Source: CNA/ll(cy)

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