SINGAPORE - A policeman who was a senior investigation officer was sentenced to 12 months' jail and one stroke of the cane for molesting a female suspect and asking another to perform a sex act on him while both were in custody at a police divisional headquarters.
Lee Sze Chiat, 39, who pleaded guilty to the offences on Tuesday (Nov 19), was a Senior Staff Sergeant and part of an investigation team at Jurong Police Divisional Headquarters.
The two women, of Chinese nationality and aged 28 and 29, were arrested and escorted to Jurong Police Divisional Headquarters on Dec 6, 2017. They were suspected to have provided paid sexual services.
Lee was not rostered or formally assigned to perform any investigative duties in relation to the arrests of the two women, but found out about the arrests later that evening.
He then offered to assist in conducting the investigative work, and the investigative team accepted his offer, the court heard.
At about 11pm, he escorted one of the women from the lock-up to an interview room. The woman, whose hands were handcuffed in front of her, was then directed by Lee to sit.
After he closed the door behind him, he began interviewing her about her personal profile which was listed on a website advertising sexual services and the services she provided.
He then asked her to give him a massage twice, but the woman refused.
Lee then locked the door to the interview room, and walked over to the woman, telling her that there were no CCTV cameras in the interview room. He then asked her to massage him again.
The woman was reluctant but ultimately agreed as she did not want to turn down a request from a police officer, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim.
"She thus proceeded to squeeze (Lee's shoulders) about two times, hoping that (his) requests would cease thereafter," he added.
She then told Lee that she was unable to carry on as she was handcuffed.
Lee then molested her. Raising her voice, she told Lee to stop, and Lee told her to lower her voice.
The woman then tried to move away from Lee, but could not do so as his right hand was around her waist, said DPP Lim.
Lee then forced her to perform a sexual act on him but she pulled away and asked Lee to stop.
About an hour later, Lee left the room and met Inspector Adam Tan, an investigation officer who was escorting the second woman back to the lock-up after recording a statement from her.
When Insp Tan realised that he did not conduct certain investigative tasks, Lee offered to take over and complete the tasks.
Lee brought the second woman to an interview room where he asked her to perform an indecent act on him. She complied
Lee's actions were discovered after the first woman met with Inspector Jason Tan from the Specialised Crime Branch at the Criminal Investigation Department at the Police Cantonment Complex on Dec 11 that year.
The woman told the inspector what had happened on Dec 6, and he advised her to report the matter formally to the police.
She did so on Dec 13 at Bukit Merah East Neighbourhood Police Centre, stating that her modesty was outraged by Lee.
The Singapore Police Force (SPF) told The Straits Times that disciplinary proceedings have commenced against Lee, who has been interdicted since Dec 26, 2017.
The SPF added that it takes the safety of arrested persons in police custody very seriously, and there measures in place to ensure their safe and fair treatment.
"This was an isolated case and does not represent the professional and disciplined conduct of the rest of our SPF officers," said the SPF, adding it has zero tolerance for officers who break the law.