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Domestic worker cries in court while recounting how employer allegedly forced her to perform sex act

SINGAPORE — Growing emotional several times in court, a 37-year-old foreign domestic worker testified on Wednesday (Dec 9) that her married employer, whom she saw as a brother or father, had touched and molested her three times within a month.

The court heard that one victim felt uncomfortable when he was molested but was too afraid to resist due to the accused’s position of authority over him.
The court heard that one victim felt uncomfortable when he was molested but was too afraid to resist due to the accused’s position of authority over him.
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  • Pal Muhammad Irzuan Mokhtar is contesting three charges of molesting and using criminal force on his family’s domestic worker
  • During the trial, she testified that he was either drinking beer or smelled of alcohol on two occasions
  • She cried at several points in court, with a judge asking if she needed a break
  • She said that she was never in a romantic relationship with Irzuan

 

SINGAPORE — Growing emotional several times in court, a 37-year-old foreign domestic worker testified on Wednesday (Dec 9) that her married employer, whom she saw as a brother or father, had touched and molested her three times within a month.

He allegedly forced her to perform a sex act on him and, at another time, groped her when she was asleep.

The worker from Myanmar took the stand on the first day of Pal Muhammad Irzuan Mokhtar’s trial in a district court. She cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity.

Irzuan, a 34-year-old Singaporean, is contesting one charge of using criminal force on her and two other molestation charges. 

Five other charges, including violating a protection order, were stood down for the time being.

Irzuan is accused of these acts in 2018:

  • Pulling the domestic helper’s hand in the living room of his Alexandra Road flat on Nov 26

  • Exposing himself to her and forcing her to masturbate him in the flat’s kitchen on Dec 3

  • Lying next to her on Dec 18, while she was sleeping in the family’s new flat along Jervois Road in Tanglin, and groping her chest

The worker testified that after the second alleged incident, she cleaned his semen from the floor with tissue paper, changed her T-shirt and placed both items in a plastic bag.

She held onto the items because she wanted to show them to Irzuan’s wife and tell her what had happened. She never got a chance to do so.

In the prosecution’s opening statement, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Rebecca Wong said that analysts from the Health Sciences Authority will give evidence on their findings on the tissue paper and T-shirt.

Right after the incident where he groped the worker’s chest, Irzuan’s wife entered the room and made a police report soon after, the prosecutor added.

The worker did not consent to any of the acts and the prosecution will show that she is an unusually convincing witness, DPP Wong told the court.

Nine witnesses will be called to the stand for the prosecution.

‘TOO SCARED TO LOOK’

On Wednesday, the worker teared up and said through an interpreter that she was “too scared to look” when DPP Wong asked her to identify Irzuan in court. 

She eventually identified him as her employer, whom she called “sir”.

She had begun working for Irzuan’s wife in 2013 before she married Irzuan. About a year later, the couple tied the knot and moved to Thailand. 

She followed them there before returning to Myanmar 11 months later due to issues with her visa. After a few months, she returned to Singapore and began looking after an elderly man.

It was in 2018 that she ended up working for Irzuan’s family again. By then, the household comprised Irzuan, his wife, their five children and his wife’s sister.

“His wife told me to stay as long as I’m happy, so I was planning (to do so)… After (working for them) around five to six months is when the problem happened,” the worker testified, referring to the alleged incidents.

DRINKING BEER

As she recounted what happened, Senior District Judge Ong Hian Sun asked her several times if she needed a break because she was crying.

On how Irzuan pulled her hand in November 2018, she said that he was sitting on the couch drinking beer when he grabbed her hand. She was walking past him at the time.

“I looked at him and he was smiling, so I pulled my hand (away) and walked off,” she said. “In my mind, to me, he’s like a brother or a father. When he touched me like that, I thought he must be drunk and that’s why he did that.”

She kept mum about this encounter because she was too embarrassed.

The second time, she was making coffee for him at about 7am when he allegedly closed the kitchen door, hugged her from behind and tried to kiss her.

Irzuan typically got up at 6.30am to work while his wife would wake up a few hours later.

The worker testified that she turned away and sat on the ground because she was “so upset” and begged Irzuan to stop.

He then allegedly unzipped his pants, exposed himself and asked her to open her mouth. Afraid of what was happening, she stood up and tried to leave.

She then claimed that Irzuan forced her to masturbate him.

SMELLING OF ALCOHOL

On the third occasion, she was asleep in the same bedroom as two of their children, having taken some medication. The family had just moved into their new flat that afternoon.

At 2am, Irzuan entered the room topless and smelling of alcohol, she testified. When she asked what he was doing, he told her she was being too loud and the children would wake up.

He then allegedly lay beside her and molested her.

At this point, Irzuan’s wife “entered the room with a bang and hit him two to three times”, yelling for him to “come outside now”, the worker said.

The wife called the police and a female officer soon took the worker to a nearby clinic. That was when she handed over the stained tissues and T-shirt from the previous incident to staff members at the clinic.

When DPP Wong asked if she was ever in a romantic relationship with Irzuan, she replied: “Never.”

The trial will continue on a date yet to be decided.

Related topics

domestic worker molest court crime

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