Lawyer cleared of outrage of modesty

A lawyer of 18 years' standing was yesterday cleared of outraging the modesty of a woman in a hotel room.

Mr Ismail Atan, 44, was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal for using criminal force on the 28-year-old woman - by forcefully grabbing her by her arms and trying to kiss and hug her.

The alleged incident took place in a hotel room in the Balmoral area at about 12.45pm on July 4, 2013.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Dwayne Lum told District Judge Jasbendar Kaur that the matter has been compounded, and a letter of apology had been submitted. This was confirmed by Mr Ismail's lawyer Mohan Das Naidu.

Mr Ismail's case was fixed originally for trial for two days.

The law allows certain criminal offences - such as simple molestation, simple hurt and wrongful restraint and mischief - to be settled out of court if the victim agrees to drop the matter in return for some form of compensation.

Offenders whose cases are compounded will not get a criminal record. The maximum punishment for outrage of modesty is two years' jail, a fine and caning.

Elena Chong

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 27, 2015, with the headline 'Lawyer cleared of outrage of modesty'. Print Edition | Subscribe