Young entrepreneur gets jail, caning for sexually assaulting sister's friend

Norvan Tan was convicted of sexually assaulting the woman, who was 19 years old at the time, in December 2016. PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - A 26-year-old entrepreneur, who was found guilty of molesting and sexually assaulting his younger sister's friend at their family flat, was sentenced to a jail term of nine years, nine months and four weeks on Friday (Aug 5).

Norvan Tan En Jie was also ordered to be given eight strokes of the cane.

In sentencing, High Court judge Ang Cheng Hock considered as an aggravating factor that the victim was vulnerable as she was intoxicated and unable to physically resist the assaults.

Tan was released on bail of $95,000 after his lawyer, Mr Amarjit Singh, told the court that he will appeal against conviction and sentence.

Tan is the co-founder of food chain Beef Bro, the owner of a retail footwear business, and a partner in a bar and bistro business.

He was convicted last month of two counts of sexual assault by penetration and two counts of outrage of modesty, committed on the woman, then 19 years old, in the early hours of Dec 26, 2016.

The victim and Tan's sister had met friends for drinks on Christmas Day evening that year.

The victim planned to stay over at the Tans' flat, and when the two women got there at about 5.40am, Tan was in his room with two friends.

Tan assaulted the victim while his sister was having a conversation with one of his friends.

The victim testified that while she was vomiting in the toilet, a man kissed her.

The man then took her to a room, placed her on a bed, touched her breast and sexually assaulted her.

When she ran back to the toilet to vomit once more, the man pulled down her shorts and sodomised her.

The woman later told her friends about the incident and made a police report on Dec 27, 2016.

Last month, in convicting Tan, the judge rejected the defence's suggestion that Tan's semen may have been transferred to a T-shirt that the victim was wearing at the time from the surfaces of the toilet.

Justice Ang found that the victim's evidence was unusually clear and convincing, while Tan's testimony was riddled with difficulties.

After the incident, Tan's sister said in text messages to the victim and in her statements to the police that her brother admitted that he had "fingered" the victim.

But the sister recanted her previous statements when she testified in court as a prosecution witness.

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