Ethiopian jailed for molesting hotel worker

A hotel guest asked a housekeeping supervisor who was outside his room to replenish some toiletries.

While she was in his room, he asked for her help with various other tasks before offering her a bottle of wine. Before she could respond, he kissed her on the cheek and told her that he "liked Chinese girls". He then kissed her again and touched her body.

Yesterday, Ethiopian flight technician Legesse Gezahegn Beshah, 41, was jailed for eight months after he pleaded guilty to outraging the woman's modesty.

The court heard that he had arrived in Singapore from his home country on Sept 7 and checked into the hotel located in the east.

Three days later, the 25-year-old housekeeping supervisor was going about her duties when she saw Beshah standing outside his room.

He asked her to replenish his toiletries and she obliged. He then proceeded to make more requests when she was inside his room, including asking her to heat up his food and change his bed sheets.

The woman began to feel uncomfortable as she sensed that Beshah was making multiple requests to get her to remain in his room.

As she tried to leave, he suddenly took out a bottle of wine and offered it to her as a "token of appreciation" for helping him. But before she could respond, Beshah placed his right hand across her shoulders and kissed her left cheek.

She was trying to get out of the room when he told her that he "liked Chinese girls". He then kissed her cheek for the second time and touched her body.

The woman finally managed to get away and told her colleagues what had happened.

She was observed to be pale and in a state of shock, the court heard.

In his mitigation plea, Beshah's lawyer, Mr Kalidass Murugaiyan, said his client had apologised to the woman and given her $1,000 as compensation.

The lawyer added: "The accused's sincere hope is that his apology will help heal the victim from the negative impact of his deplorable loss of self-control."

For molesting the woman, Beshah could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on December 28, 2017, with the headline 'Ethiopian jailed for molesting hotel worker'. Print Edition | Subscribe