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S$2,500 fine for man who molested and harassed female subordinate repeatedly

SINGAPORE — A 53-year-old man who molested his female subordinate and harassed her repeatedly through phone text messages over several months in 2018 was on Monday (Oct 11) fined S$2,500.

SINGAPORE — A 53-year-old man who molested his female subordinate and harassed her repeatedly through phone text messages over several months in 2018 was on Monday (Oct 11) fined S$2,500.

The Singaporean, who cannot be named because of a court order to protect the identity of the 32-year-old victim, pleaded guilty to one charge of outrage of modesty. 

District Judge Eddy Tham considered three other such charges and another two of harassment during sentencing.

The man made his first advances on April 16 in 2018, when they met at their company’s headquarters. 

He took her to their office, where she was allocated a desk beside his.

She was then employed as a relationship manager and he was her supervisor. The name of their company was removed from court documents.

That morning, while they were walking from Aljunied MRT Station, he molested her by touching her shoulders and brushing his forearm against her breast over her clothes.

About three weeks later, on May 8 in 2018, he sent her a photograph of a pair of heels that belonged to her, adding via text-messaging application WhatsApp, “See this!!!” and “Fetish on my end… hehe”.

Two days later, he touched her inappropriately on two occasions. 

Based on court documents, he pulled her hand and held it without her consent in a restaurant at Chijmes in the Bras Basah district. He also ran his hands up and down her arm several times while they were on an escalator at the nearby City Hall MRT Station an hour later.

Even though she expressed her discomfort, he touched her again four days later while they were at their work desks. 

He poked her waist with his finger, which led her to say that she would report him to the human resources department if he touched her once more.

He responded by asking: “Why, your father never touch you, ah?”

To this, she replied, “Which kind of father touches his child like that?”, and left the office to have lunch. 

The man later apologised for his conduct.

Court documents, however, showed that he sent her another WhatsApp message around midnight on June 2 in 2018 that read: “Hey gal… I can’t help but to grin/laugh while bathing earlier”.

The prosecution sought a fine, while the man’s lawyer Andy Yeo from law firm Eldan Law asked for a fine of S$1,000. 

District Judge Tham said, though, that this was inadequate given the nature of the relationship between the man and his victim, as well as the number of charges taken into account for sentencing.

Mr Yeo had told the court in mitigation that his client realised his actions were wrong.

“What happened is, in another space and time, he thought this would have been forgiven,” the lawyer said. 

“But I suppose he realises it’s something very serious. He admits his responsibility for that.” 

Those convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or get any combination of these punishments.

Related topics

molest harassment court crime workplace

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