Singapore

NUS researcher fined $3,000 for molesting beer promoter

A researcher asked a beer promoter to repeat eight times the price of two bottles of beer. He also asked her to move closer to him before he molested her.

Yesterday, Dymkou Siarhei, a 39-year-old Belarusian, was fined $3,000 after he admitted to squeezing the buttocks of the 29-year-old. The offence took place at a coffee shop in Woodlands at 6.30pm on July 22.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Zhi Xiang told the court that Siarhei arrived at the coffee shop in the afternoon and started consuming food and alcohol.

At about 6.30pm, he called the victim to order two bottles of beer. As she knew Siarhei was a frequent patron and that he was a flirt, she approached him warily and kept her distance.

After serving the beer, she asked for $13.20. Siarhei insisted that she move closer, otherwise he would not pay.

She moved closer to him. He then asked her to repeat the price of the beer, claiming that he did not hear her the first time.

He made her repeat the price to him eight times and asked her to move even closer to him. Eventually, he paid her.

When she was counting the money, he molested her and was reprimanded by patrons who saw what he had done.

DPP Tan said Siarhei was then involved in a commotion with other patrons, and the police were called. Siarhei was arrested for molesting the victim.

DPP Tan had sought at least a $3,000 fine to be imposed.

Siarhei's lawyer Lim Fung Peen said his client was under work stress and it was a "one-off" and "out of character".

Mr Lim added that his client had lost his National University of Singapore research job.

District Judge Lim Tse Haw said that as opposed to a slap, Siarhei had squeezed the victim's buttocks, which was more aggravating.

The maximum penalty for outrage of modesty is two years' jail, a fine and caning.

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