SINGAPORE - A father of two was jailed for 11 months on Friday (July 13) for repeatedly molesting his Indonesian maid, preying on her just days after she started work.
After the fourth time she was molested, she fled one night to the Ministry of Manpower office to tell its officers about her ordeal.
Sales manager Francis Lim Boon Liang, 49, pleaded guilty to two counts of outraging the 24-year-old maid's modesty. Two other molestation charges were considered during sentencing.
On Friday, District Judge Marvin Bay said Lim's acts were "grossly intrusive".
He added that Lim's acts were a brazen exploitation of a domestic helper, "a person rendered vulnerable as a result of her dependence on her employer for shelter and sustenance, for his own sexual gratification".
The maid arrived in Singapore in September 2016 and Lim employed her two months later, on Nov 24. He molested her a few days after she started work.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Goh Yi Ling told Judge Bay that the maid was alone in the kitchen with Lim when he asked her for a kiss. His son was then in the living room while his daughter was in her bedroom. Lim molested the maid when she refused.
The DPP added: "The victim felt angry, helpless and embarrassed... However, she did not report the matter to the police immediately as she still respected the accused as her employer and did not want to cause any problems with the accused and his wife."
DPP Goh said: "The victim was never in any sort of romantic relationship with the accused... Their relationship was strictly that of an employer-employee one.
"The accused, as well as his other family members, did not have any issues with the victim's quality of work."
Lim molested her two more times in November. On Dec 3, 2016, she was in a flat belonging to Lim's mother when he molested her for the fourth time.
The following night, at around 10pm, she ran away to the Ministry of Manpower office while Lim's mother was asleep.
But it was way past office hours and the 24-year-old was forced to spend the night at a nearby bus stop. In the morning, she told the ministry's officials what had happened.
In mitigation, Lim's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan said his client was extremely sorry for his actions. Lim also had medical conditions such as diabetes and high cholesterol, the court heard.
For each count of molestation, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.