SINGAPORE - A doctor on trial for raping a patient during a late-night consultation had his account of the events punctured Thursday (May 24) by the prosecution, who alleged he had "cooked up" his version afterwards.
General practitioner Wee Teong Boo, 67, has denied raping the woman, then a 23-year-old student, on Dec 30, 2015. His testimony is that he had conducted a pelvic examination with ungloved hands in order to rule out pelvic inflammatory disease.
Seeking to attack his account, Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz pointed out that the police had gone to his Bedok clinic on the afternoon Dec 31, 2015, asking for his blood sample, swabbing the examination bed and photographing the clinic.
Not once did Wee tell them it was "just one big misunderstanding", said the DPP.
"At the clinic, you did not tell the police that all you did was put your fingers into her vagina without gloves to investigate pelvic inflammatory disease because you had not cooked up that version yet," the DPP put to him.
He maintained that at the time, he was not told the nature of the complaint; his first thought was that he was being investigated for not using gloves during the examination.
By Wee's own account, he gave his blood sample willingly for DNA tests. The DPP questioned why he would do so when he did not know the nature of the complaint.
Wee said he "more or less" guessed that it was a rape accusation.
"I know I'm innocent, I just gave them whatever they want," he said.
The DPP put it to him that he was lying. She contended that Wee had initially refused to give a blood sample because he knew he had raped the woman but agreed only after he learnt the police could get a court order to compel him to do.
The woman, a regular patient who saw the GP more than 20 times in a year for gastric and acne problems, had earlier testified that there had been no "pelvic examination" but that Wee had instead raped her.
On the night of Dec 31, 2015, she gone to him complaining of gastric reflux, frequent urination and a cough, said Wee.
He said while he was checking her abdomen, she caught him off-guard by telling him she had a genital itch. Pelvic inflammatory disease was a possibility he considered, Wee said.
The DPP had sought to attack Wee's version by questioning why he he would conduct an internal examination without wearing gloves and asking for a chaperone.
Wee said gloves and chaperones were recommended but "not mandatory".
The DPP also took issue with the fact that Wee did not ask the patient about her sexual history, pointing out that the disease is rare in women who are not sexually active.
"She was lying on the bed, how am I going to ask for her history," said Wee. "By using your mouth, Dr Wee," the DPP countered sharply.
The DPP also noted that checking for pelvic inflammatory disease cannot be conducted with just a digital examination.
Wee said he was trying to exclude a serious case by checking for any severe pain and abscess. This was his training "from 40 years ago", he said.
The DPP shot back: "So your training is outdated?"
Wee replied that it was "good enough for GP practice in HDB heartlands".
Wee repeatedly told the court that he had already worked 13 hours with only a 1 ½-hour dinner break.
Several times during the cross-examination, Wee was sternly reminded by the judge to answer the DPP's questions.
Wee also apologised for describing the police as "stupid" in one of his replies to the DPP. This arose when he was asked why he had not intervened when police officers seized a pair of boxer shorts from his laundry basket, believing them to be the pair he had worn when he was seeing the patient.
"If the police want to be stupid, there's nothing I can do," Wee had said.