Physiotherapist sentenced to jail, caning for molesting teenage client

Luke Manimaran Degarajoo was sentenced to 11 months' jail and three strokes of the cane for molesting a client.
Luke Manimaran Degarajoo was sentenced to 11 months' jail and three strokes of the cane for molesting a client.ST PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW

SINGAPORE - An 18-year-old girl who turned up for a physiotherapy session was instead molested by the owner of the practice.

The teen was left confused during the massage as Luke Manimaran Degarajoo, 43, had touched her inappropriately.

She made a police report four hours later, after confiding in a friend.

Luke, the owner of The Rehab Physio Practice in Delfi Orchard, was sentenced on Wednesday (March 21) to 11 months' jail and three strokes of the cane.

The victim had turned up at the practice on March 25 last year at 6.20pm seeking treatment for back and hip pain.

Luke told her the session would last 15 minutes and directed her to a massage bed in a therapy room.

Meanwhile, the victim's friend waited outside and the door to the room was left half shut.

When the massage started, the teenager was fully clothed. But then Luke told her to remove her top and loosen her shorts.

The victim complied as she thought it was part of the treatment.

While massaging, Luke molested her twice after rolling down her underwear and shorts.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said: "The victim felt uncomfortable by the contact but did not shout or ask for help as she was unsure if it was part of the treatment or not."

The massage ended when the victim heard Luke speaking to her friend who had glanced into the room and was surprised to find her in the nude.

When confronted, Luke claimed the victim needed a deep massage as her injury was "very bad".

After the session ended, he gave her a report detailing his assessment of her condition.

She did not complain initially as she was unsure if the way he touched her was part of the treatment.

The teenager told her friend about her ordeal when they left at around 7.40pm before lodging a police report about four hours later.

Luke is now out on a $10,000 bail after the court granted his request to defer his sentence as he had to settle some personal matters.

He will surrender himself at the State Courts on April 20 to begin serving his sentence.

For outraging the girl's modesty, he could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.