SINGAPORE - A Republic of Singapore Air Force lieutenant-colonel accused of trespassing into a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) dormitory and molesting a woman was offered bail of $15,000 on Tuesday, following his remand at the Institute of Mental Health (IMH).
Details about Neo Aik Chiao’s mental condition were not disclosed in court, and IMH has recommended that he attend follow-up sessions with a psychiatrist or psychologist.
He is represented by lawyer Joyce Khoo from Quahe Woo & Palmer. His pre-trial conference will be held on Jan 6, 2023.
Neo, 45, who had flown helicopters including a Chinook, was earlier charged with two counts of criminal trespass and one count of molestation.
He is accused of trespassing into the dormitory rooms of two women, aged 18 and 21, at around 2am on Nov 13. Court documents did not disclose how he allegedly entered the premises.
Neo allegedly molested the older woman by touching her left thigh.
Details about the women and the dormitory cannot be disclosed because of a gag order.
In an earlier statement to The Straits Times, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said Neo had been suspended from all duties by the Singapore Armed Forces (SAF).
A Mindef spokesman added: “As court proceedings are ongoing, Mindef/SAF is unable to comment further on the case at this juncture. We will carefully assess the eventual findings before deciding on further appropriate actions.
“The SAF holds its service personnel to high standards of discipline and integrity.
“Service personnel who commit offences will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Those convicted of serious offences may be discharged from regular service.”
Responding to queries from ST, NTU said: “Keeping our students safe is our top priority, and we take trespassing very seriously.
“The police were immediately called to the scene, and the university provided support to the affected students when the incident happened. Security patrols have been stepped up.”
For molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or receive any combination of such punishments.