TCM clinic owner testifies against ex-employee, says she has never heard of treating clients with sex acts
SINGAPORE: The owner of a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic where a woman was allegedly molested by a practitioner testified on Thursday (Oct 29) that she has never heard of treatments requiring sex acts to be performed on customers.
Madam Wu Huating took the stand in the trial against her former employee, 74-year-old Lim Ah Bah. He is contesting four charges of outraging the 39-year-old victim's modesty and insulting her modesty two years ago.
He allegedly performed two sexual acts on the woman during a treatment session at the TCM clinic in central Singapore.
When asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh about the sex acts Lim is accused of performing on the victim, Mdm Wu said she has never heard of such acts being used in TCM treatment.
The court heard a phone call clip the victim made to Mdm Wu a day after the alleged incident on Oct 1, 2018.
In the conversation, Mdm Wu is heard asking the victim why she had asked Lim to do the "tuina" massage when there were many female therapists at the clinic.
When asked why she had posed the question, Mdm Wu said in Mandarin: "Because we have a lot of professional female therapists ... because she was complaining that this old physician (did a sex act on her). So I felt we had so many female therapists, why did you let him perform tuina?"
The prosecutor cited what the victim said - that it was not the massage that was the issue, but the sex act.
"So your client tells you that your physician went to (do a sex act on her). What was going through your mind?" asked Ms Poh.
"I feel that it's a bit too much," said Mdm Wu, who has been a TCM physician in Singapore for 18 years.
"As a Chinese physician, are you aware of any treatment in TCM medication involving the rubbing of one's vagina with lubricant gel?" asked Ms Poh.
"I've never seen, neither have I heard," answered Mdm Wu.
Lim is accused of pressing on the victim's vaginal area to show her how to perform a massage as part of the supposed treatment. He allegedly instructed her to rub the area with lubricant gel during the session, and she complied.
The victim had earlier testified that Lim successfully cured her cough very quickly in her first session with him, so she wanted to trust him and his methods.
However, on her second visit to the clinic on Oct 1, 2018, Lim allegedly told her to ask her boyfriend for more sexual intercourse and to perform a sex act on her to "cure" a "blockage" in her body.
After allegedly molesting her and asking her to perform a massage on herself, Lim applied a substance on her upper body and performed a sexual act on her.
The woman said she felt very uncomfortable and asked the elderly man to stop. She later went home to research the medical methods and found that there was no such technique, and made a police report.
DEFENCE QUESTIONS WITNESS
Lim's lawyer Tan Hee Joek on Thursday questioned Mdm Wu on her evidence. She had told the victim in the phone call played in court that Lim had gone to her clinic only three times to work and was "too much" to commit the alleged acts.
Producing Lim's Central Provident Fund records, Mr Tan put it to Mdm Wu that his client had definitely gone to the clinic more than three times.
He also charged that Mdm Wu had met up with Lim after finding out about the incident and asked him to pay S$5,000 to the victim to settle the matter. Mdm Wu said this definitely did not happen.
The trial continues. If convicted of molesting the woman, Lim can be jailed for up to two years and fined for each charge. He cannot be caned as he is older than 50.
If found guilty of insulting a woman's modesty, he can be jailed for up to a year, fined or both for each charge.