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Doctor acquitted of molesting 24-year-old patient at Kallang clinic

SINGAPORE — A general practitioner was acquitted on Monday (March 8) of molesting a 24-year-old female patient during a consultation in 2017, after a district judge found several aspects of her evidence inconsistent and unconvincing as a whole.

Dr Lui Weng Sun, 48, was cleared of molesting a female patient in November 2017.

Dr Lui Weng Sun, 48, was cleared of molesting a female patient in November 2017.

  • Dr Lui Weng Sun, 48, was cleared of molesting a female patient in November 2017
  • District Judge Jasvender Kaur found several aspects of her evidence to be inconsistent with what she told police shortly after the alleged incident
  • The judge also found the woman’s boyfriend’s behaviour to be “highly unusual”
  • Dr Lui’s lawyers said he was “happy and relieved” to be acquitted

 

SINGAPORE — A general practitioner was acquitted on Monday (March 8) of molesting a 24-year-old female patient during a consultation in 2017, after a district judge found several aspects of her evidence inconsistent and unconvincing as a whole.

Dr Lui Weng Sun, 48, was cleared of a single charge of outraging the woman’s modesty on Nov 6, 2017 at the Northeast Medical Group clinic, located along Jalan Tiga off Old Airport Road. 

His lawyers — Mr Shashi Nathan, Mr Jeremy Pereira and Ms Laura Yeo from Withers KhattarWong — told reporters on his behalf that he was “happy and relieved” as the matter has been “hanging over his head for nearly three-and-a-half years”.

His wife was also present and began crying as the verdict was read out.

The prosecution did not state if it will appeal against the acquittal.

In her judgment, District Judge Jasvender Kaur told the court that the patient’s “uncorroborated” evidence was not unusually convincing by itself so as to prove the charge beyond a reasonable doubt.

The patient, a Vietnamese national now aged about 27, cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity. She had been studying at a private institute in Singapore since around 2013.

She had accused Dr Lui of placing a stethoscope on her breast, pulling up her T-shirt and touching her nipple with his finger.

The prosecution amended the charge midway through the trial from Dr Lui allegedly pulling her bra cup down to molest her, to turning her bra cup outwards.

During the trial, Dr Lui maintained that he did not even remember seeing her at all and repeatedly denied molesting her. 

Clinical notes showed that he saw 70 patients in total that day — 47 in the morning, when he examined the woman, and 23 in the afternoon — with an average consultation period of five minutes. She had not consulted him before.

FIRST ALLEGED INCIDENT

District Judge Kaur noted that the woman’s reaction right after the alleged incident did not by itself render her testimony unbelievable. Video footage showed she smiled and chatted to the nurses after leaving the consultation room.

Nevertheless, the judge found her version of events to be inconsistent with what she said in her police statement, given about eight hours after the alleged molestation.

She had alleged that Dr Lui pulled up her T-shirt twice, with a clinic assistant interrupting the first instance by opening the sliding door, but told the police he only did it once.

It was “unlikely” that she forgot this, the judge said, as it was material to the case and she had given the statement shortly after.

The woman sought to give two explanations — that she was scared and not calm as she had been molested that day, and that she focused on only the main things.

“These explanations cannot co-exist. The first one meant she was unable to recall due to her state of mind. The second was a deliberate decision to leave something out,” District Judge Kaur said.

Further, the woman had told the police officer who recorded the statement that no one else was present in the room. This meant she “clearly had her wits about her”, the judge added.

While the woman said Dr Lui had pulled her T-shirt back down when the clinic assistant knocked on the door, the assistant testified that she did not in fact knock. 

During the trial, the woman said that the assistant had pulled the doorknob. But District Judge Kaur said these two actions were “entirely distinct” and there could be no confusion.

If the assistant did not knock, Dr Lui would have had to “perform two actions in a split second” — remove the stethoscope he placed above her breast then pull down her T-shirt. 

“I don’t think it would have been so straightforward,” District Judge Kaur told the court.

SECOND ALLEGED INCIDENT

As for the second alleged incident of pulling up her shirt, the woman had told the police that Dr Lui then pulled his chair closer to her and placed the stethoscope above her breast again.

But on cross-examination during the trial, she “did an about-turn” and claimed she was unable to recall, said the judge.

The woman also said she had helped Dr Lui to hold up her T-shirt in order to help his examination, but also said she felt weird about this. District Judge Kaur found it “unlikely or odd that she took the initiative to hold up her T-shirt with that mindset”.

The woman then testified to other reasons — that the exam was taking longer, and she was afraid he would touch her breast.

District Judge Kaur said that it was “reasonable” that she should have told this to the police, but she did not.

The judge also found her testimony on her course of study “lacking in consistency”, even though the defence was no longer relying on the argument that she was trying to extend her stay in Singapore.

As for the woman’s boyfriend, District Judge Kaur said his behaviour after calling Dr Lui on that evening was “highly unusual”. 

Dr Lui had testified that the boyfriend asked him to meet face-to-face the next day and apparently asked for monetary compensation. During a second phone call, the boyfriend told Dr Lui that the police may not let matters go even if parties want to settle in the future, and that it “affects all of you doctors greatly”.

“I failed to see why he needed to further engage with the accused… He was clearly saying that the stakes are very high,” the judge noted.

If convicted of molestation, Dr Lui could have been jailed up to two years, fined, caned, or penalised with any combination of the three.

Related topics

molest court crime doctor clinic Lui Weng Sun acquittal

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