Skip to main content



SMU student repeatedly apologised to woman he allegedly molested, asked her not to call police, court hears

SINGAPORE — Shortly after allegedly molesting a 22-year-old woman in a campus classroom, a Singapore Management University (SMU) student apologised to her repeatedly and asked her not to report the matter to the police.

Lee Yan Ru outside the State Courts on Sept 7, 2020.

Lee Yan Ru outside the State Courts on Sept 7, 2020.

Follow us on Instagram and Tiktok, and join our Telegram channel for the latest updates.

  • The trial of student Lee Yan Ru, 24, continues for a second day 
  • He is accused of molesting a 22-year-old woman while she was asleep
  • Lee apologised repeatedly and asked her not to call the police, she said
  • The defence asked why she had not told him to stop most of his advances  


SINGAPORE — Shortly after allegedly molesting a young woman in a campus classroom, a Singapore Management University (SMU) student apologised to her repeatedly and asked her not to report the matter to the police.

On Tuesday (Sept 8) morning, the 22-year-old woman revealed these details and how the incident affected her as she took the stand for a second day in the trial of student Lee Yan Ru, 24.

A day earlier, the prosecution had taken her through the days and hours leading up to the incident. She said that Lee had made several unwelcome advances, including groping her and touching her breast during a smoke break shortly before the alleged molestation.

Lee is disputing a single charge of rubbing his private parts against her chest in the classroom at about 6.30am on Jan 8 last year. 

The woman, who studies at another university in Singapore, cannot be named because of a court order to protect her identity.


Lee had invited the woman to an overnight study session on the SMU campus. 

After their second smoke break during which Lee allegedly touched her breast, they returned to the third-storey classroom.

She sat on a chair and Lee sat on her thighs without any warning or invitation, she said.

“I tried to push him away, but being seated down, there is only so much force you can generate. I (told) him verbally, ‘Go away’ and ‘Stop it’,” she added. 

Even so, Lee did not budge. 

She managed to stand and walk around the room to “shake things off”. To make conversation, she read from a file he left on the table.

Lee then arranged some chairs and later rested on them.

Around 6.10am, the woman lay on the ground, covered her face with her hoodie and fell asleep. Feeling a weight on her abdomen near her chest, she lifted the hoodie and saw Lee kneeling over her. She said that she told him sternly to move away, but he replied: “Wait.” 

This made her "feel shocked and degraded”.

A few seconds later, she said that she felt warmth near her chin, ear and neck. He then used some tissue paper to wipe her face.

A DNA report later showed that his semen was found on the tissue.

“My face felt really hot, and I was embarrassed and frankly, I couldn’t move. I was just stuck there.

“Nothing like this has happened, so I didn’t really know what to think. I was kind of angry… to be disrespected and degraded in this manner,” she told the court.


Both of them then cleaned up the room. 

She said she recited Lee’s particulars that she had memorised from his file and told him that he would hear from her lawyers.

As he followed her to the ground floor, he said that he was sorry “about seven to 10 times” and kept pleading with her “not to tell anyone to take action”, she added. 

Lee also invited her to punch him, she said, because she had told him that she practised martial arts before. 

“I guess he said that as a way for me to get back at him, as if that would suffice,” she told the court.

On the ground floor, she told a security guard what had happened. 

The guard then created some distance between the pair by making Lee stand outside the entrance gantry. She said that Lee then kept shouting, “Please don’t call the police”.

When police officers arrived, she took them to the classroom.

She said that the alleged incident affected her schoolwork and she was diagnosed with acute stress disorder. She had pushed her boyfriend away once as well, when she realised she was “projecting” the incident on their relationship.

“This court hearing has affected my schoolwork again, but I’m still coping, I would say.”


On Tuesday afternoon, Lee’s lawyers from law firm Rajah & Tann began cross-examining her.

Mr Thong Chee Kun asked her why she had not verbally objected to most of Lee’s advances, to which she said that she was not verbally expressive and that her actions, such as moving his foot off her thigh, were enough to signal her discomfort.

Mr Thong also asked why she had given Lee a “playful kick” before their first smoke break, and she replied that she had wanted to ease the tension.

“Did you not think that by giving him a playful kick very shortly after what you said happened, that would encourage him to make further advances on you?” the lawyer asked.

She responded: “No. If I wanted such further advances, I think I would make it quite clear.”

The trial continues on Wednesday.

Related topics

SMU molest court crime

Read more of the latest in



Stay in the know. Anytime. Anywhere.

Subscribe to get daily news updates, insights and must reads delivered straight to your inbox.

By clicking subscribe, I agree for my personal data to be used to send me TODAY newsletters, promotional offers and for research and analysis.