Hotel guest pleads guilty to molesting chambermaid

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
(Photo: Getty Images)

After his wife left a hotel room, the man made advances on the hotel chambermaid who was cleaning his toilet and later grabbed her breast.

Masud Muhammad Ataul, 66, a Bengali who came to Singapore on a social visit pass for medical treatment, was a guest at the hotel room when the woman, then 31, entered his room for her housekeeping duties. The woman cannot be named due to a gag order.

On Monday (16 October), Masud pleaded guilty in the State Courts to one count of molesting the woman, who is a Chinese national. Another count of insulting the woman’s modesty will be taken into consideration for sentencing, which has been adjourned to 19 October.

The woman was commencing her cleaning duties on 21 May this year when the incident occurred. At around 10am, she approached Masud’s room and asked to clean the room. Both Masud and his wife were present at the time.

Masud’s wife let the woman into the room before leaving several minutes later, leaving the woman alone with Masud. While the woman was cleaning the toilet, Masud attempted to talk to her, asking if she was local. The woman replied that she was from China but did not understand Masud’s other attempts to communicate.

The man then tapped his cheek and moved it forward, gesturing for the woman to kiss him. Believing that it was the culture to greet another by tapping cheeks, the woman unwillingly tapped her cheek to Masud’s. According to the prosecution, the woman was reluctant to antagonise Masud as he was a hotel guest and it was her first job as a chambermaid.

As the woman brought her cheek to Masud’s, he grabbed the woman’s right breast with his hand. Shocked and terrified, the woman stepped back and pushed Masud away. Masud then grabbed his penis over his clothes, and the woman turned away, feeling fearful.

She resumed cleaning the toilet. Masud then asked the woman to take her time cleaning his room before he left several minutes later. According to the prosecution, the incident lasted some three minutes.

The woman later confided in her supervisor about the incident and the latter escalated the matter to the Guest Service Manager. The woman’s supervisor noted that the woman was shivering with fear and crying while recounting her ordeal. A police report was lodged later that afternoon.

Masud, who is represented by lawyer Ismail Hamid, faces a maximum jail term of up to two years and/or a fine and/or caning.