Teen allegedly molested by NTU student conducting 'research project'; 25-year-old man arrested

A 17-year-old boy alleged that he was molested by a graduate student from NTU on Nov 13, 2017, after responding to an ad looking for boys "to assist in research project regarding body stimulation in forms of light sensation touches". PHOTO: SCREENGRAB FROM CRAIGSLIST

SINGAPORE - A 25-year-old graduate student from Nanyang Technological University (NTU) was arrested on Saturday (Jan 20) after he was accused of molesting a teenager under the guise of conducting a research project.

The police confirmed with The Straits Times that a report was lodged and the man was arrested for outrage of modesty. ST understands that both the male victim and the alleged perpetrator are Singaporean.

When contacted, NTU said it is assisting the police in their investigations.

The 17-year-old victim told NTU's campus newspaper, The Nanyang Chronicle, in an article on Saturday that he had responded to the graduate student's advertisement for participants in his research project.

Cached copies of the purported advertisement on Craigslist and Gumtree indicated that a "local research student" was looking for boys in junior college, polytechnics or secondary schools "to assist in research project regarding body stimulation in forms of light sensation touches".

The Gumtree advertisement, posted on Nov 3, said it was looking for "students for body stimulation research project participants with hourly remuneration".

The Craigslist advertisement said there was no minimum age, but participants had to be no older than 24.

It offered up to $25++ per hour, and an additional $10 per session for students aged 16 and below.

The teenager, who was not named, said he met the student at the lobby of an NTU graduate hall at around 8pm on Nov 13 last year.

He told the Nanyang Chronicle that he was then led to a dormitory room, where he was blindfolded and restrained to a bed while naked.

He alleged that the student stimulated his genitals after tickling him for an hour.

The graduate student then paid him $55 to masturbate, claiming he had done the same with another participant, according to the Nanyang Chronicle.

The teenager said he complied as he was afraid to protest, as the student was "a big guy".

The victim filed a police report the next day.

When contacted by the Nanyang Chronicle, the graduate student denied any involvement with the research study and online advertisements. He said that his mobile number had been listed in the advertisements without his knowledge or permission.

A spokesman for NTU told ST on Saturday that there is no such research project.

"The University views academic and research misconduct as serious disciplinary offences," said the spokesman. "All research proposals must be approved by the University before they can be carried out. There is no such scientific or scholarly research project that has been undertaken.

"Any research involving human participants must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board for review and approval."

Join ST's WhatsApp Channel and get the latest news and must-reads.