A senior staff nurse who sexually harassed a junior colleague and molested her was sentenced to two weeks’ jail on Wednesday (23 May).
Mo Ruhong, a 36-year-old Singaporean, had earlier pleaded guilty to one count of molesting the 28-year-old woman and one count of insulting her modesty. Two other counts of molest were taken into consideration for his sentencing. Mo and the woman were working in the same hospital, which cannot be named.
Mo had been working at the hospital for 13 years whereas the woman, whose name is under gag order, started working as a health attendant there in November 2016.
The relationship between the two was cordial for half a year but Mo started to act inappropriately towards the woman sometime between June and July last year.
On 11 July last year, the woman was tasked to clean the staff changing room of the ward when Mo approached her from behind. He held onto her shoulders and turned her around. With his face near hers, he said, “Come, I kiss you.”
The woman pushed Mo away and said that she would complain to a supervisor if he were to repeat his actions.
Two weeks later, in the pantry, Mo tapped the woman on the buttocks once with the back of his hand, prompting the woman to shout at him. He also brushed his hand across her waist in the tea room on another occasion.
On 9 September, at around 6.30pm, Mo called the woman over and told her that he liked her buttocks. He added that “it (looked) like a circle” while doing a cupping motion with his hands. Disgusted by his words, the woman walked away.
The woman told her manager about Mo’s actions two days later but decided to lodge a police report on 23 September as she felt that it was unfair that the hospital wanted her to change wards.
Passing sentence on Mo, District Judge Shaiffudin Saruwan said that Mo was in a position of seniority and that the victim would have felt stress in having to report to him. The judge felt that Mo’s claim that he thought he could take liberties with the woman was “disingenuous”.
“I fail to see how you can have that impression despite having been told ‘No’ by the victim a few times,” he said.
“In a conservative society like Singapore, you should know better and know there are some lines you cannot cross.”
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