Jail, caning for nursing home employee who molested stroke victim
Nursing home employee took advantage of 55-year-old female patient in the home
She was a 55-year-old patient in a nursing home who had difficulty moving or speaking and had to use adult diapers.
But the multiple stroke victim was molested by a 34-year-old man who worked in the home.
Yesterday, after a 14-day trial, the man was sentenced to 22 months in jail and three strokes of the cane on one count of outraging a woman's modesty.
The victim, now 57, the man, the nursing home and the sole eyewitness cannot be named due to a gag order.
The court heard that on Nov 26, 2016, a nurse was going about her rounds when she noticed that curtains around many of the beds were drawn in the victim's room.
She found that unusual as they were typically drawn only when diapers were being changed.
When the nurse went into the room to check on a patient, she heard cries from the victim. The nurse turned and saw the man straddling the victim who was lying on her back on the bed.
The nurse testified that she could see the man's trousers had been pulled down to thigh level and the victim's pants were also lowered.
The man did not realise that the nurse was in the room but she could see part of his face and recognised him as a housekeeping employee.
The nurse later reported the incident to the management of the home, who eventually alerted the police.
The victim had been a resident in the home for more than five years when the incident took place.
She did not testify as she was assessed to be medically unfit to do so. She was also found to be incapable of giving legal consent to any sexual act due to her mental incapacity.
But the court heard that during an interview with a psychiatrist, she showed signs of distress. She broke down several times as she recounted that a man had come to her bed and that she was touched and her pants were pulled down even though she objected.
Deputy Public Prosecutor N.K. Anitha said it was "sheer fortuity" the man was caught in the "callous" act of targeting a vulnerable and defenceless victim.
The man, who is married with a daughter, denied the charge.
He claimed in court that the nurse was in cahoots with a former maintenance supervisor at the home to frame him due to the bad blood between them.
But the court found no discernible motive on the part of the nurse or the supervisor to frame him.
The man is planning to appeal against his conviction and sentence.
For outraging a woman's modesty, he could have been sentenced for up to two years, with a fine or caning or both.