Ex-SCDF officer aquitted after compounding harassment case
Ex-SCDF officer compounds case with apology and donation to charities
The woman who accused a former Singapore Civil Defence Force (SCDF) Lieutenant-Colonel of harassing her said she believes she did the right thing in reporting him to the authorities.
This is despite getting embarrassed and having to delay her wedding.
She told The New Paper: "I want women to know that bad behviour from bosses or clients is not something they need to tolerate."
In March, former SCDF officer Goh Wee Hong, 40, was charged with one count under the Protection from Harassment Act for making sexual advances through text messages and harassing the woman between Aug 27 and 30 last year.
She cannot be named to protect her identity.
Yesterday, Mr Goh, who is married with a child, was acquitted of the charge after he compounded the case with a donation and an apology in open court.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Kumaresan Gohulabalan said Mr Goh originally offered to pay the woman $4,000 in compensation.
She declined and asked him to instead give the cash to two charities of her choice, the Movement for the Intellectually Disabled of Singapore and the Association of Women for Action and Research.
The cheques for $2,000 each have been given to the organisations, said DPP Kumaresan.
Mr Goh stood before District Judge Samuel Chua yesterday to read out his apology to the woman, who was in the court.
He said he was sorry for what he had done, and hoped she would accept his apology.
Lawyer Rajan Supramaniam, who was not involved in the case, said that when a case is compounded, the accused is not convicted of the offence, and he will not have a criminal record.
TNP reported that Mr Goh hit on the woman, who was then working for an events management firm that had won a tender for an exhibition he was overseeing, via text messages.
He asked her out on a date, then to be his lover.
She filed a police report last September.
The woman, who is in her 20s, told TNP: "This cost me my old job, and delayed my wedding plans due to all the court dates and time consumed in repeating myself to the police, SCDF, my new job superior, and others.
"But what I hope is for the public to know what had happened, and that he should not be able to do this again."
She added she was willing to settle for a compensation order because she felt that Mr Goh had been adequately dealt with.
"My main intention was for him to leave his position and not cause others the trouble I had been through," she said.
"Since his face has been in the papers, I hope the public will remember him. I hope he can also give some thought to his family as well."
She hopes her case will empower women who find themselves in similar situations.
"If it jeopardises your family, loved ones or career, don't be afraid to stand up and voice it out," she said.
She said she resigned from her previous job as she felt she was not getting enough support from her then employers.
Aware told TNP that employers must play a proactive role in preventing and addressing workplace sexual harassment.
Victims can alert their human resources department and seek remedy by making a police report or filing a civil suit. - ADDITIONAL REPORTING BY SHAFFIQ ALKHATIB