SINGAPORE — A former National University of Singapore (NUS) senior lecturer who rubbed his groin against a female undergraduate’s leg was jailed 14 weeks’ jail on Thursday (17 October).
Long Yun, 35, pleaded guilty to one count of outraging the modesty of the 20-year-old victim while aboard an NUS shuttle bus in January. He was a senior lecturer in the Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering at the time of the offence.
The Singapore permanent resident, who is married and has an eight-year-old son, has since been terminated from his position.
Molested on shuttle bus
At around noon on 14 January, Long, a China national, boarded the A1 shuttle bus within the NUS campus at a bus stop along Lower Kent Ridge Road. He boarded the crowded bus through the rear door and stood near the victim.
As the bus reached the second bus stop, Long moved nearer to the woman to hold on to the standing pole next to her. The shuttle bus jerked as it left the bus stop, causing Long’s groin to press against the woman’s left thigh. This caused him to feel aroused.
“To prolong this sensation of arousal, Long shifted his body closer to the victim and intentionally rubbed his groin against the victim’s left thigh again,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Benedict Chan. Long rubbed his private parts against the woman until he alighted at the fourth bus stop some four minutes later.
“Shocked and confused, the victim realised that Long’s actions were intentional and that she had been molested,” said DPP Chan.
The woman told a friend about the incident and sought assistance from a campus security officer. The matter was later reported to the police. During investigations, Long admitted to the offence.
Accused an ‘incredibly friendly’, dedicated teacher: lawyer
Long's lawyer TM Sinnadurai sought eight weeks' jail for his client, who became a Singapore permanent resident in 2015 after moving here in 2013. While his wife previously worked in Singapore, she moved back to China with the couple’s son to run a business, leaving Long in Singapore.
Sinnadurai noted that Long holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and has outstanding academic achievements, including being placed on the NUS Honours’ List in 2016 for his dedication to educating NUS engineering students.
Long was also rated “above average for his teaching” in the annual teacher’s report over two semesters of his teaching career, outscoring his department and faculty in the rankings. The lawyer also submitted testimonials from Long’s superiors and former students, who described Long as patient, supportive and “incredibly friendly”.
“The overwhelming conglomerations of testimonials in favour of (Long) show that he has an unquestionably immaculate good character,” said Sinnadurai.
DPP Chan sought no less than 14 weeks’ jail, stating that Long’s touching of the victim had not been fleeting. The prosecutor told the court that the victim, who is still an undergraduate, now refrains from boarding the shuttle bus for fear of being subjected to a similar offence.
“She also reports that she gets upset and has breakdowns when she recalls this incident,” said DPP Chan.
For molest, Long could have been jailed up to two years as well as fined or caned.
In response to queries from Yahoo News Singapore, NUS said in a statement that Long was dismissed in February this year.
“A university pastoral staff provided support to the female student from the time she reported the incident until care was no longer required. We take a very serious view of staff misconduct, and disciplinary action will be taken against those who have breached our Staff Code of Conduct,” it added.
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