Air steward fined $10,000 for molesting woman at Zouk

SINGAPORE - An air steward was fined $10,000 on Tuesday for molesting a student at Zouk in January this year.

Salvadoran national Henry Bernardo Cortez Cerrato, 27, who was working for Qatar Airways, pleaded guilty to touching the 24-year-old's private parts through her jeans at the Jiak Kim Street nightspot at 4.07am on Jan 25.

The court heard that sometime after midnight, the victim and her friends entered Zouk and made their way to the bar counter. Her friends ordered alcoholic drinks but the victim did not consume any.

Cerrato arrived at around 3am. About an hour later, the victim was near the bar counter when she moved aside slightly to let Cerrato pass.

However, upon nearing her, he molested her and walked off.

The victim grabbed his shirt collar and questioned him, but he remained silent and walked away.

The victim subsequently told her friends about the matter. They went round the nightclub looking for Cerrato and alerted the club's security officers when they found him. The police were called and arrested him.

Cerrato had touched the victim only fleetingly, said his lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph.

District Judge Eugene Teo said the fine to be imposed must be of sufficient amount to show that this kind of shameful act should never be repeated.

The maximum penalty for molestation is two years' jail, fine and caning.