Athletics: Veteran coach charged with five counts of outrage of modesty

Loh Chan Pew has been charged with five counts of outrage of modesty.
Loh Chan Pew has been charged with five counts of outrage of modesty.PHOTO: ST FILE

SINGAPORE - Veteran track and field coach Loh Chan Pew has been charged with five counts of outrage of modesty.

The 72-year-old, who is also vice-president (competitions organising) of Singapore Athletics (SA), the sport's local governing body, was charged in court on Thursday, all with the alleged use of criminal force.

According to court documents, the incidents happened from late 2011 to March 2013. In each of these charges, Loh was accused of using criminal force and rubbed the victims' genitals. The two victims were aged 16 and 18 at the time of the incidents.

The victims cannot be named in order to protect their identities.

Loh has claimed trial, but sought an adjournment in order to engage a lawyer. The case is expected to be mentioned again on June 1.

The athletics coach is no stranger to the local track and field fraternity, having also been a former national sprinter who was part of the men's 4x100m relay team that won silver at the 1973 South-east Asian Peninsular Games.

He has nurtured some of Singapore athletics' top athletes, among them former national record holders. Loh was also a former deputy superintendent of Prisons.

He took a leave of absence from his role at SA amid a police probe into alleged molestation last August, but returned to the association this March. ST understands that he has taken a leave of absence starting from Thursday.

For using criminal force with the intention to outrage the modesty of a person, Loh can be imprisoned up to two years, fined, or any combined punishment. As he is above 50, no caning will be imposed.

A Sport Singapore spokesman said: "As this is an on-going court case, Sport Singapore will not be making any comment on the case specifically.

"We have communicated with SA and expect the SA management committee to take appropriate actions with respect to Mr Loh's continuing involvement in the SA's activities during this time. This should include informing the SA's affiliates of the action being taken."