Former nurse looked "scared and stressed" after alleged molestation by doctor

A former nurse appeared "scared and stressed" when telling a colleague that she had been molested by a doctor during an operation. Anaesthetist nurse Tan Moi Yong, 54, testified that although the 26-year-old victim had a surgical mask on, she "could see the fear and stress in her eyes".

"I asked her what happened and she said Dr Senaka Liyanage had touched her buttocks three times," said Ms Tan.

Dr Liyanage, 37, an anaesthetist, is on trial for outraging the victim's modesty twice between 9.30am and 10.30am and again at about 2pm during the same operation at Changi General Hospital on April 5 last year.

Also taking the stand on the third day of the trial on Tuesday was senior staff nurse Wee Choon Bin. She was on duty outside the operating theatre at about 3pm when the victim told her that Dr Senaka had touched her.

Ms Wee, 36, told the court that she asked the victim whether the doctor had brushed against her when transferring the patient to the operating table because in these situations "there could be some contact between colleagues". The victim then took hold of Ms Wee's hand and placed it on her buttock to demonstrate how the doctor allegedly touched her.

Ms Wee said that the victim appeared "lost and unsure what to do". A police report was lodged by the nurse on April 15. She cannot be identified as this is a molestation case.

Liyanage, who graduated from the University of Colombo and is married with children, was part of a team of doctors carrying out the hip restoration operation that day. The surgery lasted seven hours.

Testifying in January, the woman, now a sales executive, admitted that before the operation she had told the main surgeon that the patient had no allergies, only to be corrected by Liyanage who had pointed out that the patient was allergic to penicillin. However, she said she was not annoyed as no one had told her about the allergy and that there was no red sticker on the consent form to warn about the allergy.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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