Naval officer spared jail for forcibly kissing fellow cadet
S'pore naval officer in Australian military academy placed on good behaviour order
Naval officer Benedict Ang Yong Chuean avoided jail last Thursday despite being found guilty of forcibly kissing a female fellow cadet in an Australian military college.
The 22-year-old lieutenant - who committed the indecent act in the victim's room - was placed on an 18-month good behaviour order by a Canberra judge.
In granting Ang's request to avoid a conviction, Justice John Burns of the Australian Capital Territory Supreme Court noted that he had already suffered hardship due to the crime.
Justice Burns said the trial had "besmirched" Ang's reputation and brought shame on him, even though he had not admitted his guilt. He had been kicked out of the military academy and suspended on half pay by the Republic of Singapore Navy.
ANG 'FIXATED ON VICTIM'
Lieutenant Benedict Ang Yong Chuean joined the Republic of Singapore Navy in July 2010 after basic training. He had excelled in the military and was a Sword of Honour recipient when he graduated from Officer Cadet School.
The holder of a Singapore Armed Forces scholarship, he was sent to the Australian Defence Force Academy to train and study for a degree. But his life began to unravel after he was arrested in May last year for allegedly entering a female cadet's room in the same military college three weeks earlier.
In April, an Australian court found Ang guilty of forcing the cadet to kiss him. He was cleared of a second charge of undoing the woman's bra and touching her breast while she slept.
He said during his trial that the kiss was consensual and that he had gone into the woman's room to check on her. But the prosecution told the court that Ang had "unrequited love" for the female cadet and was fixated on her.