Nurse who molested patient while pretending to be doctor jailed 7 months

Muhammad Ruzaini Johari will begin serving his sentence on Aug 1 and is currently out on a bail amount of $10,000.
Muhammad Ruzaini Johari will begin serving his sentence on Aug 1 and is currently out on a bail amount of $10,000.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - A staff nurse who pretended to be a doctor and molested a patient has been sentenced to seven months' jail.

Muhammad Ruzaini Johari, 33, was working as a staff nurse at a clinic in Yishun when he unclasped a 28-year-old woman's bra and placed electrodes on her chest.

Ruzaini, who is now a trainee deck cadet in the shipping industry, was on an afternoon shift and had stayed behind in the clinic on May 11 of last year to finish up some administrative tasks after the doctor on duty left.

The woman and her husband, 33, who cannot be named due to a gag order, then showed up at the clinic as the woman was feeling unwell.

Although the doctor on duty had already left, Ruzaini asked the woman to enter the consultation room, while he sat in the doctor's chair. He performed some brief medical examinations on the woman before asking her to lie on her back.

He then lifted her blouse and started pressing her exposed stomach area. He continued to press down until he reached the area above her groin. The woman felt embarrassed but did not protest as she believed Ruzaini to be a doctor, the court heard.

Ruzaini then retrieved an ECG device, usually used to measure a person's heart activity, to conduct a test on the woman despite knowing that there was no reason to do so.

He lifted the woman's blouse to expose her chest and unclasped her bra to place the ECG electrodes on her breasts, wrists and ankles.

 

The woman then became very uncomfortable and confronted Ruzaini, removed the electrodes from her body, dressed herself and left the room.

She burst into tears and told her husband what had happened. Ruzaini then pleaded with the couple not to call the police but the woman's husband made a police report.

He pleaded guilty to one count of molestation.

Ruzaini's lawyer Sunil Sudheesan asked for five to six months' imprisonment.

He argued that Ruzaini had explained that the doctor was not around but his message did not get through to the woman due to language barriers.

He also said that while Ruzaini touched the woman's breasts with electrodes, there was no skin-to-skin contact.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Marshall Lim said in response: "(Ruzaini) actively carried out medical examinations which reinforced the victim's belief that she was dealing with a qualified doctor."

District Judge Luke Tan called Ruzaini's crime "abhorrent and offensive".

Ruzaini will begin serving his sentence on Aug 1 and is currently out on a bail amount of $10,000.

Ruzaini could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned for outraging a woman's modesty.