A senior lecturer from the National University of Singapore (NUS) who molested an undergraduate while on board a campus shuttle bus was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail yesterday.
Long Yun, who was part of the faculty at the university's department of chemical and biomolecular engineering, had rubbed his groin against the left thigh of a 20-year-old female student for about four minutes.
The court heard that Long - who moved to Singapore from China in 2013 and became a permanent resident in 2015 - and the student were on board NUS shuttle bus service A1 in Lower Kent Ridge Road on Jan 14 at around noon.
The shuttle bus is accessible to members of the public and travels from Kent Ridge MRT station to parts of the university campus.
As the bus was crowded, the student, who cannot be named due to a gag order, boarded through the rear door and stood next to a pole.
Long boarded through the same door and stood near the victim, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Chan.
As the bus reached its next stop, Long held the pole next to the student and stood in front of her at a "very close" distance, said DPP Chan. When the bus moved, it jolted forward and Long's groin rubbed against the student's left thigh, leading him to be aroused.
Long, who is 36 and married with an eight-year-old son, then moved closer to the student and intentionally rubbed his groin against her thigh again, the court heard. This continued until he alighted about four minutes later.
The student, who was shocked and confused, realised that she had been molested and told a friend. They sought assistance from a campus security officer and referred the matter to the police.
Urging the court to sentence Long to no less than 14 weeks' jail, DPP Chan disputed the defence's argument that the harm caused to the victim was minimal.
Citing a victim impact statement recorded from the student on Wednesday, DPP Chan said the student now refrains from taking the campus shuttle bus out of fear of being molested again. She also has emotional breakdowns when she recalls the incident, he added.
Long's lawyer T.M. Sinnadurai urged the court to sentence his client, a first-time offender, to eight weeks in jail.
Mr Sinnadurai said the offence was not premeditated and that his client had pleaded guilty at the earliest opportunity.
He said that Long has "demonstrated sincere remorse", attending counselling sessions to rehabilitate himself and offered compensation to the student.
In response to queries from The Straits Times, an NUS spokesman said Long's employment was terminated in February after an internal investigation.
A university pastoral staff member supported the student from the time she reported the incident until care was no longer required, the spokesman added.
"We take a very serious view of staff misconduct, and disciplinary action will be taken against those who have breached our staff code of conduct," he said.