10 months' jail and three strokes for TCM masseur who molested woman

Wang Lin was sentenced on March 6 after being convicted in Feb 2020. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A masseur at a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) clinic faces 10 months behind bars and three strokes of the cane for outraging the modesty of a woman who came to the centre for treatment.

Wang Lin, a 48-year-old Chinese national, was sentenced on Friday (March 6) after being convicted last month.

The victim cannot be named due to a gag order. The name of the TCM clinic has also been redacted in the court documents.

The court heard that the victim first visited the newly-opened clinic in December 2017 on a recommendation from a friend to get treatment for shoulder and back aches.

Wang massaged her neck, shoulders and back. She was fully clothed during the massage.

The victim also bought a treatment package from the clinic.

When she returned for a second massage on Dec 16, 2017, Wang also attended to her.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gregory Gan told the court in his submissions that Wang asked the victim to remove her top before the massage, saying the treatment required it.

The victim removed her T-shirt, covered herself with a towel that Wang had given her and lay face down on the massage bed.

The court heard that Wang removed her bra during the massage.

He subsequently asked her to turn over and lie face up. She did this while keeping her body covered.

The victim testified that Wang then molested her.

The court also heard that the massage ended shortly after the molest. The victim went home and lodged a police report against Wang the next day.

District Judge Jasvender Kaur convicted Wang on Feb 28, noting that she disagreed with the defence's submission that the victim's version should be doubted as she did not react or complain about the molest immediately, among other things.

The judge agreed with the prosecution that such a submission "is a classic example of how sexual assault victims are strait-jacketed in the expectation that they must act or react in a certain manner".

On Friday, Wang's lawyer said that he had received various letters from Wang's acquaintances vouching for him and pleading for the court to be lenient in sentencing.

DPP Gan replied that Wang had exploited a customer: "A signal must still be sent that such conduct is unacceptable."

District Judge Kaur sentenced Wang to 10 months' jail and three strokes of the cane.

Wang is appealing his conviction and sentence.

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