SINGAPORE: A 71-year-old-man who was at the time the general manager of private school molested a new female hire less than half his age, after meeting her for lunch to discuss work matters.
On Wednesday, the Singaporean man was sentenced to six months' jail.
He pleaded guilty to two counts of outrage of modesty. The man and the school cannot be named to protect the victim's identity.
According to court documents, the man arranged to meet the 32-year-old victim, also a Singaporean, for lunch on Oct 3, 2019 to explain work procedures to her before she started her job four days later.
During lunch at an eatery at Rochor MRT station, the man, upon finding out that the victim’s mobile phone line had been disconnected because she could not pay the bill, held her hands and offered to pay for it.
“The accused also told the victim that he liked her, and used his hands to rub the victim’s back,” court documents read.
The victim declined his offer and told him that she was already grateful to have gotten a job.
After lunch, they made their way to the school so the victim could sign her employment contract.
On the way, however, the man suggested going to a telco store at Sim Lim Square to pay off the victim’s outstanding bills.
In a glass lift at the mall, the man stood close to the victim and brushed his arm against her breast, court documents stated.
"The victim did not consent to the accused touching her in this manner and felt very uncomfortable," the documents stated.
In other to avoid further physical contact, the woman inched herself away from the man, but he too moved to stay close to her.
They later arrived at the intended location, but were told to proceed to another outlet at the mall to enquire about making the payment.
They entered another lift, and the man hugged her. His act was captured on the lift’s security camera.
"The victim felt uncomfortable and tried to move away but was unable to do so as she felt that the accused was hugging her quite tightly," court documents stated.
When they arrived at the telco outlet, they were told they could not make the phone bill payment in cash. They then proceeded to leave the mall and head to the school.
While leaving, the man reached out to hold the victim’s hands. She retracted her hands and told him that she was not comfortable with him doing so. She also told him not to be close to her in public, court documents stated.
“The accused then suggested that he could hold her hands when they were in a private place in the future,” the documents read. The victim did not respond to the suggestion.
A short while later, the man again held on to the victim’s hands. She retracted her hands, but the man then turned her towards him and kissed her once on her lips, according to court documents.
He told her that he liked her and would not hurt her. The victim did not respond.
After reaching the school, the man told the victim that he would like her to share the same office as him as they would have to work closely together.
“The victim was in a state of confusion, but nonetheless proceeded to sign the employment contract as she needed a job. Later the same day, the victim decided to lodge a police report against the accused,” the court documents stated.
The man could have been jailed for up to two years and fined for each count of outrage of modesty. While the offence carries a possibility penalty of caning, the man cannot be caned as he is above 50.