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Insurance agent found guilty of molesting junior colleague after door-to-door sales

SINGAPORE — A 30-year-old married man was convicted on Wednesday (Aug 4) of molesting his younger colleague three times on a single evening in 2018, when they had just done door-to-door insurance sales together.

Insurance agent found guilty of molesting junior colleague after door-to-door sales

Chua Kia Dong claimed that he was in a consensual relationship with the victim, a work colleague, a claim rejected by the judge.

  • Chua Kia Dong was convicted of three molestation charges
  • When he was 27, he groped and kissed his female junior colleague at an HDB block
  • He claimed during the trial that she had consented to the acts due to their alleged ongoing affair
  • But the judge noted his confession to the police and other evidence such as CCTV footage
  • He will return to court next month for mitigation submissions and sentencing

 

SINGAPORE — A 30-year-old married man was convicted on Wednesday (Aug 4) of molesting his younger colleague three times on a single evening in 2018, when they had just done door-to-door insurance sales together.

While Chua Kia Dong claimed during the trial that she had consented to all the acts, District Judge Eddy Tham found him guilty based on Chua's confession to the police and evidence such as closed-circuit television (CCTV) footage.

His victim, who is about five years his junior, cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity.

The molestations took place on the evening of June 1, 2018.

Chua first groped and kissed the woman at the sky garden of a Housing and Development Board block in Sengkang, then kissed her in a lift on the way to a basement car park. He then groped and kissed her once more in his car at the car park.

She lodged a police report shortly after confiding in her boyfriend and work superiors.

During the trial, Chua did not deny the physical acts but alleged that they had been having an ongoing consensual affair from January that year.

As for the lift incident, Chua claimed that she had been acting coy and playing hard-to-get when she said “no” to his advances.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Alexandria Shamini Joseph urged the court to accept the victim’s account that she had given in to pressure to have sex with him in February.

She testified that she avoided Chua afterwards, until he promised to stop touching her a month before the incident. She then acceded to his request to go door-to-door for their work.

DPP Joseph noted that even in his own testimony, Chua admitted that any sexual acts had stopped in February.

The victim said that she struggled and repeatedly said “no” when he first molested her at the sky garden. He stopped this when she said that she had to leave, and she followed him to the car merely to retrieve her jacket.

In a statement that Chua gave to the police after his arrest, he admitted that he developed a “strong sexual urge” at the sky garden and told her that he wanted to have sex with her. He then hugged her and wrapped his arms around her.

District Judge Tham read out portions of the statement, dated five days after the incident, where Chua confessed to hearing the victim say “no” five to 10 times till they got to his car.

“(She) kept telling me to stop touching her but I ignored her and continued to touch her. I then smelled her hair and told her she smells good, and kissed her right cheek, collarbone and neck area,” the statement read.

Chua then went on to say that in his car, they moved from the front to the backseat to “continue my intimacy with her” but she then repeated that she had to leave. At that point, another colleague called her and he stopped his advances to drive her to her destination.

When the investigation officer asked if he had used force or restraint in molesting the victim, he responded: “Yes, I did.”

He added: “I am really sorry for what I have done. It was really in a moment of impulse. I promise to change over a new leaf and will never ever do such a thing ever again. I really hope that the authority will give me a chance.”

District Judge Tham found this amounted to a “clear confession” from him that he had molested the victim in the sky garden and the car.

“He signed (on the statement) clearly knowing no consent was given for all the acts of intimacy on June 1, 2018,” the judge said.

Chua’s lawyer, Mr Anand George, had urged the court to acquit him, arguing that the victim’s evidence was inconsistent and contradictory in many aspects such as her not remembering what happened in the car.

District Judge Tham said that if the prosecution relied solely on her testimony, which had “lapses and gaps” in it, it would fall short of the “unusually convincing” threshold required to convict Chua.

But he further noted that there was other corroborative evidence, including CCTV footage from the lift.

“Suffice to say, I found her explanations plausible at times, and at other times a bit bewildering… However, she did not come across as a vindictive witness or out to frame him,” the judge added.

Chua will return to court on Sept 13 for mitigation submissions and sentencing. He is out on bail of S$15,000 in the meantime.

For each of the three molestation offences, he could be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of the three.

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