Massage therapist jailed 11 months for molesting woman

A part-time massage therapist molested a woman who had gone to a healthcare centre near her home for neck and shoulder pain.

Sin Tiong Kheng, 60, was jailed for 11 months yesterday after he admitted to fondling the 32-year-old woman's breasts, massaging her inner thighs and rubbing her inappropriately at Clever Hands Healthcare and Therapy in Pasir Ris Street 21 on June 6 last year.

The victim was at the healthcare centre that day as she had been suffering from pain in her neck and shoulder.

Sin, who was the only masseur there and is self-taught, quoted her $38 for a 30-minute session.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said the victim, who was clad in a tank top and denim shorts, was lying face down on the massage bed when Sin began massaging her.

Sin claimed that if he massaged her shoulder directly, it would cause more injury.

When the victim lay face up, he pressed his thumb on her breastbone, claiming it would relieve tension from her right shoulder.

He told her he would be applying oil as part of the massage and made her sit up before lifting up her tank top. She was shocked but thought it was part of the massage.

Sin then unhooked the victim's bra without her consent, said DPP Wong. The victim quickly moved her arms to cover her chest.

Sin told her to lie down before he applied oil on her.

"In the course of this, the accused pushed the victim's brassiere upwards and massaged and fondled her breasts by slowing squeezing around her breasts and moving his hand across her breasts from bottom to top in an upwards motion repeatedly, and did so for about 20 minutes," said the DPP.

The victim felt vulnerable and confused. She was unsure if Sin was molesting her as she recalled a similar massage technique by a female therapist.

DPP Wong said Sin also pressed the victim's waist and abdominal area. He then moved down to massage her pelvic area and removed her shorts, before massaging her inner thighs.

Sin quickly stopped what he was doing when he heard a female voice outside.

He touched the victim's back when she was dressing up. She then realised he was up to no good but remained confused. After paying him, she lodged a police report.

Sin's lawyer Danny Chua said the married father of two is shuffling between odd jobs and helping his friend at a hawker stall to support his family financially.

Sin could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 07, 2017, with the headline 'Massage therapist jailed 11 months for molesting woman'. Print Edition | Subscribe