Jail for businessman who molested job applicant

SINGAPORE - A businessman who was showing a potential employee how to use computer software told her how much he loved his wife and kids and was not looking for "hot sex".

But 47-year-old Md Gias Uddin Sarker went on to molest the woman four times at his Woodlands Link office before paying her a $200 "salary" for the day, and leaving her "frozen, stunned and scared".

The Singapore permanent resident was sentenced to eight months' jail on Monday (June 18) after District Judge Lim Tse Haw found him guilty of five counts of molestation last month. He was convicted following an eight-day trial.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kavita Uthrapathy said that the 28-year-old victim, who cannot be named, had found out about the job vacancy through her sister, and her mother had told her that Gias was "trustworthy" and a "very good man".

She contacted Gias, a Bangladeshi, on Nov 19, 2015, and went on to meet him at Yishun MRT station at around 2.30pm the next day.

The woman testified that there was no one else in the office when they reached there, and that later he went to sit beside her so he could show her how to make entries to worker payroll timesheets on a computer.

DPP Kavita said: "The accused then spoke to the victim about his personal life - how he loved his wife and kids very much and how he was not looking for 'hot sex' like other men and told her that he would give her extra money, cosmetics and good clothes on top of her salary. The accused also asked the victim about her husband's pay. The victim asked if he did this for all of his staff and he replied, 'no, just for you'."

He then molested the woman, leaving her feeling "frozen", "stunned" and "scared". The court heard that she had thought of running away, but decided not to do so as she feared Gias might turn violent and do "worse things to her".

Gias molested her three more times after this and give her $200, saying that it was her salary for the day.

He also told her not to tell anyone about what had happened before they boarded a taxi where he molested her for the fifth time in the back seat. He later got out before the woman headed home.

She told her husband and sister about her ordeal before lodging a police report on Nov 21, 2015. Officers arrested Gias two days later.

Gias, who was represented by lawyer Peter Keith Fernando, denied molesting the housewife. He claimed that the woman and her husband implicated him in the offences over a financial dispute.

The court heard that Gias intends to appeal against his conviction and sentence. He is now out on bail for $10,000.