Ex-senior public servant gets 6 weeks’ jail for molesting female subordinate
SINGAPORE — A 67-year-old former senior public servant was sentenced to six weeks’ jail on Monday (Jan 18) for molesting a female subordinate, who was 55 at the time.
SINGAPORE — A 67-year-old former senior public servant was jailed six weeks on Monday (Jan 18) for molesting a female subordinate, who was 55 at the time.
In December, he was convicted of one count of hugging the woman tightly but he was acquitted of five charges relating to the molestation of another female subordinate, then aged 43, after claiming trial.
The public servant, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the women, had worked at a statutory board since 2004.
He was suspended from his role in April 2018 and has since retired. The statutory board cannot be named either.
The man was accused of molesting the two women over a period of about nine months in 2016 at their workplace.
The younger one was his direct subordinate while the older woman reported to him in the same division of the statutory board.
He was found guilty of hugging the older woman so tightly that her breasts pressed against his body. The man has filed an appeal against both the conviction and the sentence on Monday, and is out on S$30,000 bail.
He faces three other charges of molesting the older woman when they were overseas for work, which will be dealt with later.
In delivering his verdict last month, District Judge John Ng said that he found “material inconsistencies” between statements that the younger subordinate had given to the police and her testimony in court, and so he found it unsafe to convict the accused of the five charges related to her.
However, he found the evidence given by the older subordinate to be “cogent and reliable”.
Prosecutors, in their earlier submissions, said that the 55-year-old subordinate did not immediately report the matter at the time because she felt her job would be in jeopardy.
“The accused abused this trust by leveraging his superior position and good working relationship with the victim to touch her inappropriately,” Deputy Public Prosecutors Goh Yi Ling and Emily Koh said.
“In doing so, he also knew that the victim was unlikely to report his actions given her timid nature.”
The man’s lawyers — Mr Gary Low, Mr Terence Tan and Mr Victor Lau from Drew and Napier — said that the man was a first-time offender and a person of good character.
He had devoted his life to the same public service field and has won administration awards, they said. His peers and subordinates also testified that he was a good boss and a “consummate professional”.
He could have been jailed up to two years or fined, or both. Molestation carries the possibility of caning but those aged 50 or above cannot be caned by law.