SINGAPORE: A massage therapist was sentenced to more than 10 months' jail on Tuesday (Apr 16) and fined S$3,000 for molesting a customer and possessing obscene films.
Loh Kok Sun, a 58-year-old Singaporean, worked at a spa in the northern part of Singapore. The name of the spa has been redacted from court documents.
In Jan 8 last year, a woman, whose identity is protected by a gag order, went to the spa for a massage. She was a regular customer and had been visiting the spa for about half a year before the incident, the court heard.
She paid S$98 for a two-hour full body acupressure massage, removing all her clothes except her panties and laid on the massage bed face-down, with a towel covering her body.
When Loh entered the room, the woman realised that he was a man and asked instead for a head, shoulder and waist massage, as she did not want an oil massage which would involve more touching by the masseur.
Loh acknowledged her request and began massaging her neck and head. About an hour later, he asked her to flip over so that she was on her back, and the woman complied.
After covering her with the towel, Loh moved his hands upwards while massaging her leg and molested her. The woman "was shocked but was at a loss (as to) what to do", said Deputy Public Prosecutor Chew Xin Ying.
"Emboldened, the accused moved to massage the victim’s stomach area over the towel that was covering her body," the prosecutor added.
He then molested her with his hands beneath the towel for about five minutes, even though he knew that a male massage therapist was not allowed to touch a female customer's breasts during a massage.
The woman felt shocked but did not dare to open her eyes, instead clutching the sides of the bed tightly with her hands and feeling scared and vulnerable.
Loh ended the massage and asked her if she was okay, before offering her some water and asking her to sign the register book.
The woman paid for the massage and left, but later lodged a police report after consulting her friends and reading a reported case about a masseur being convicted for molesting a female customer.
That same month, Loh was arrested and his Apple iPhone SE was seized. Eight videos and 416 images were extracted from his phone. Six videos were certified obscene.
Loh pleaded guilty to one charge of using criminal force to outrage the customer's modesty and another of possessing obscene films.
He was sentenced to nine months' jail for the outrage of modesty charge, and an additional six weeks' jail in lieu of caning for molesting the woman. He was fined S$3,000 for possessing obscene films.
For molesting the woman, he could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or any combination of those penalties.
For possessing obscene films, he could have been fined a minimum of S$500 per film up to a total of S$20,000, sentenced to up to six months' jail, or both.