Jail term upped for doctor who drugged and molested patient

Aesthetic doctor Tan Kok Leong arriving at the State Courts on July 28, 2016, for sentencing, after his conviction in June 2016 for drugging and molesting his 33-year-old patient, a Malaysian doctor.
Aesthetic doctor Tan Kok Leong arriving at the State Courts on July 28, 2016, for sentencing, after his conviction in June 2016 for drugging and molesting his 33-year-old patient, a Malaysian doctor.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - An aesthetic doctor who drugged and molested a male patient over the course of two days in a hotel room had his jail term increased from 3½ to 4½ years by the High Court on Thursday (May 25).

Last year, Tan Kok Leong, 50, was found guilty of twice administering Dormicum and Rosiden on the Malaysian doctor during a liposuction procedure at Oasia Hotel in Sinaran Drive on July 5 and 6 in 2013.

He was also found guilty of two charges of molesting the 33-year-old patient on those two days, but was cleared of a third molestation charge.

Tan appealed against his conviction and sentence, while the prosecution appealed against the acquittal.

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On Thursday (May 25), Justice See Kee Oon dismissed Tan's appeal, rejecting his arguments that the acts were part of clinical procedures and that the patient had given his consent for him to carry out the acts in question.

However, Justice See allowed the prosecution's appeal against the acquittal. He said there was no plausible reason why Tan's hand would have reached underneath the surgical drape around the patient's genitals while performing liposuction at the abdominal area.

There was also no basis to disbelieve two eyewitnesses who said they saw him do so, he said.

The judge agreed with the prosecution that the sentences on each charge ought to be enhanced "to more appropriately reflect the gravity and egregiousness of the offending conduct".

As Tan cannot be caned because he is above 50, Justice See imposed two months' jail in lieu of caning for each molestation charge. With the original jail term of 12 months, this works out to 14 months' jail per molestation charge.

For administering stupefying drugs, Justice See increased the term on each charge from 30 months to 40 months.

He said the original sentence was manifestly inadequate, given aggravating features such as the serious abuse of authority, betrayal of trust and premeditation and deliberation in administering a drug in a non-clinical environment without any regard to the potential grave risks to the patient.

He ordered the jail terms for one charge of each offence to run consecutively, making 54 months, or 4½ years.

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