Hospital employee sentenced to 3 months' jail for molesting colleague at workplace

SINGAPORE - While watching a movie together on a computer screen at their workplace, a male hospital employee molested his female colleague.

When the 20-year-old woman pushed the offender's hand away, he locked the main door to the room and continued to touch her inappropriately.

On Wednesday (Jan 13), the 34-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to three months' jail after pleading guilty to one count of molestation.

Details about his identity, workplace and occupation cannot be revealed owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

The pair were at their workplace at around 1pm on July 23, 2016 when they decided to watch a movie together. To do that, the man turned off the lights in the room.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Emily Koh said: "While they were watching the movie, the accused held the victim's hand and rubbed her hand with his hand.

"The accused then let go of her hand and placed one of his hands onto the victim's stomach, over her T-shirt. The victim pushed his hand away."

Undeterred, the man touched her again. When she pushed his hand away, he got up, locked the door and returned to sit beside her.

The court heard that he then molested the woman again.

"The victim tried to move away from the accused, but the accused kept coming closer towards her. The victim was scared and turned away from him.

"When the victim's back was turned, the accused hugged the victim from behind and placed his hands on her waist over her T-shirt. The victim tried to break free by elbowing him, but to no avail," the DPP told District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt.

Although she was terrified of the man after the ordeal, she did not report the matter, as she felt that doing so could jeopardise her job.

But she finally broke her silence and told a colleague later that year about the incident. She lodged a police report on Nov 30, 2016.

On Wednesday, DPP Koh urged Judge Chay to sentence the offender to at least four months' jail, stressing that he was "blatant and persistent in his conduct".

She added: "The victim had also tried to break away from the accused's restraint by elbowing him when he hugged her from behind.

"Despite the victim's clear signs of resistance and struggling against the accused, the accused was undeterred and instead persisted in his molestation of the victim."

For molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

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