Woman who accused senior public servant of molestation told colleague about alleged ordeal

SINGAPORE - A 43-year-old woman, who accused a senior public servant in an education-related government body of molestation, had told their male colleague about her alleged ordeal, a district court heard on Thursday (Feb 13).

On the fourth day of trial, the confidant testified in court that the woman told him about it after they went to a hawker centre near their workplace in early 2017.

The confidant said the woman then told him that the alleged offender had "brushed her arm".

He added that she "might have said" the alleged offender touched her arm with his "lower body".

The confidant, who cannot be named due to a gag order, also told District Judge John Ng that according to the woman, it was not the first time that the alleged offender had committed such an act.

The court heard that the confidant "almost immediately" sent an e-mail to their female colleague, who was a senior executive of their organisation, stating that the alleged victim wanted to see her.

The two women had a meeting later before a police report was made.

The alleged offender, a 66-year-old Singaporean, is accused of molesting two women who were his colleagues at the time.

The man, who also cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the women's identities, is accused of nine counts of molestation between February and December 2016.

The cases are said to involve the 43-year-old woman and their 55-year-old female colleague.

Court documents did not state if the man had left the organisation or was still working there.

He allegedly molested the 43-year-old woman five times and is accused of targeting the older woman four times.

Six of the alleged offences occurred at their workplace.

The other three offences are said to have taken place during work-related trips to the Philippines, Vietnam and Myanmar, and they allegedly involved the 55-year-old woman.

She was the next witness to testify in court after the younger woman's confidant took the stand on Thursday.

The older woman's testimony was heard in-camera.

This means that the hearing was not open to the public, including members of the media.

The trial will resume on Friday.

For each count of molestation, offenders can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

If convicted, the man cannot be caned, as he is over 50 years old.

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