Ex-senior public servant molested female subordinate
He was acquitted of five other molestation charges linked to another woman, still has three pending charges
A man was yesterday convicted of molesting a female subordinate in 2016 when he was a senior public servant in an education-related government body.
The Singaporean, 67, had earlier claimed trial to six counts of molestation involving the victim and another woman.
Yesterday, District Judge John Ng found him guilty of molesting the victim, who was 55 years old at the time.
The man was acquitted of the five other molestation charges linked to another woman, who was then 43 years old.
The man, who has since retired, still has three other pending molestation charges involving the older woman and these will be dealt with at a later date.
Details about the offender, the government body and the position he held cannot be revealed to protect the women's identities.
Delivering his verdict yesterday, the judge said that there were "material inconsistencies" between the younger woman's police statement and her evidence in court.
Judge Ng, however, found that the older woman's evidence was "cogent and reliable".
The court heard that the man targeted the older woman in mid-2016 by hugging her tightly.
In their submissions, Deputy Public Prosecutors Goh Yi Ling and Emily Koh said she did not dare confront him as she did not want to jeopardise her job.
They added: "The workplace ought to be a safe environment free from sexual harassment.
"Paradoxically, when the perpetrator is one's own immediate supervisor, the horrors of sexual harassment are exacerbated by inherent power dynamics which shield the perpetrator and stifle victims into silence."
The woman became "emotionally traumatised" - to the extent that "the mere mention of his name" or an e-mail from him would cause her to "freak out".
At the end of 2016, the court heard that she developed a "host of serious health problems", including a persistent cough that affected her lungs, heart palpitations and a chronic migraine.
The DPPs added: "On one occasion, she fainted in the office, requiring an ambulance.
"Her mental health was also affected, and she grew 'very depressed'. At one point, she became suicidal.
"Her deteriorating relationship with the accused and increasing difficulties in working with him proved to be added stressors which culminated in her health 'hitting rock bottom' in 2017."
The man had been accused of molesting the younger woman between March and September 2016 by acts such as hugging her tightly and pressing his private parts against her right upper arm.
The court heard that some time in December 2017, the victim approached the younger woman, telling her she was under tremendous stress caused by the man.
The DPPs said that in a chance conversation in March 2018, the older woman suddenly asked the younger one if she had a problem with him "touching her".
The pair had a meeting with their other seniors on March 28, 2018, and the police were alerted.
The man's bail was set at $15,000 yesterday and he is expected to be sentenced on Jan 4 next year.