Singapore cadet found guilty of indecent act in Australia

A Singaporean naval officer on trial in Australia for committing indecent acts has been found guilty of forcing a woman fellow cadet to kiss him.

But lieutenant Benedict Ang Yong Chuean, a trainee at the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA), was cleared of a second charge of undoing the woman's bra and touching her breast while she slept, Australian media reports said.

According to the Canberra Times on Friday, the 22-year-old regular in the Republic of Singapore Navy will be sentenced late next month. He remains on bail.

Ang was arrested in May last year for allegedly entering the 18-year-old woman's room in the same military college, and committing the indecent acts.

The court heard that the Singaporean entered the room in the early hours of May 6, a Sunday.

The woman reportedly had had 18 drinks during a night out hours earlier. Ang, who had five drinks that night, sent multiple text messages to her that same night asking where she was.

The Singaporean reportedly considered the woman a friend and called her "sis".

According to the prosecutor, Ang, once in the room, started to rub the woman's back. He then grabbed her by the jaw and repeatedly tried to kiss her.

She stopped him by using her teeth. Then she fell asleep. She said when she awoke later, Ang had undone her bra and was fondling her breast.

Ang, a Singapore Armed Forces scholarship holder who is in the ADFA to study for a degree awarded by the University of New South Wales, has maintained his innocence throughout.

He reportedly sat still and upright, and showed little reaction when the verdict was delivered on Friday night.

The Canberra Times reported Ang saying that the kiss was "consensual", and that he had gone into the woman's room to check on her.

He also claimed that he offered the cadet a back rub after she complained of feeling sore. Ang further said he was on the woman's bed and tried to kiss her.

But he stopped after she said: "I can't do this, you are like my bro."

The Canberra Times quoted the prosecution calling Ang's account of events "ridiculous", "bizarre" and "full of Freudian slips".

Mr Shane Drumgold, the prosecutor, told the court that Ang had a fixation and "unrequited love" for the female cadet.

He also suggested that the Singaporean entered the woman's room after seeing a note in the hallway saying that she was drunk and needed someone to watch over her.

Ang also reportedly admitted to his fellow cadets that he had made a mistake, and pleaded with them not to report him as it would ruin his career.

Contacted yesterday, the Singapore Defence Ministry's director of public affairs, Colonel Kenneth Liow, told The Sunday Times: "The Singapore Armed Forces takes a serious view of the conduct and discipline of its servicemen. As court proceedings have not concluded, it is not appropriate for the Ministry of Defence to comment on this case."

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