Male employer sentenced to more than 10 months' jail for molesting domestic helper

SINGAPORE - Thinking that his domestic helper was asleep, a man crept up on the woman and molested her.

But the 28-year-old Indonesian maid was actually awake at the time, and opened her eyes when she felt Lee Chye Hock, 57, touching her chest.

He fled when he realised she was alert.

Lee, who had pleaded guilty to a molestation charge, was on Friday (Nov 8) sentenced to 10 months and two weeks' jail.

He was also ordered to give the maid $2,280 as compensation. She cannot be named owing to a gag order to protect her identity.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Phoebe Tan said that the maid had started working for Lee's household in 2014. Lee works at a food stall with his wife.

The maid shared a bedroom with his youngest son in a flat in the eastern part of Singapore. The court heard that the sonslept on a bed while she used a mattress on the floor.

Lee entered the room between 1am and 2am in late 2017 and felt "sexual urges" when he saw the maid dressed in a body-hugging shirt with long pants.

The DPP added: "Thinking that the victim was asleep, the accused decided to capitalise on this opportunity to act on his urges. Intending to outrage the victim's modesty, he used his left hand to touch the victim's right breast over her shirt.

"Although the victim's eyes were closed, she was in fact awake at this point."

She opened her eyes and saw her molester in the room. Because she was afraid, the maid did not confront Lee.

But on the evening of July 24 last year, she spotted him standing at the entrance to the room and "labouring under the fear" that he would molest her again, the maid made a police report the next day.

Lee, who was unrepresented, told District Judge Teo Guan Kee on Friday that he was remorseful and pleaded for leniency.

He is now out on bail of $5,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on Feb 10 next year to begin serving his sentence.

Offenders convicted of molestation can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

Lee cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old.

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