Man jailed for molesting colleague and threatening to circulate nude photos of ex-lover

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
(Photo: Getty images)

He was working as an assistant store manager at a food company in Singapore when he molested a 23-year-old female colleague in a room that they were in.

In a separate incident, the man, a Filipino national who cannot be named due to a gag order, threatened to spread the nude photos of an ex-lover, 27, to stop her from calling him.

The 40-year-old man was jailed seven months and six weeks on Thursday (5 October) on two counts of molest and two counts of criminal intimidation. One charge of criminal intimidation was taken into consideration for his sentence.

The man, who is married with children, was found guilty of the molest charges, which he claimed trial to, on 25 September – the same day he pleaded guilty to the criminal intimidation charges.

On 2 November 2015,  the victim and the man were moving goods in a store room at their workplace when the offence was committed. The victim had relied on the man to assist her with his thumbprint access and had entered the store with him several times earlier that day.

Between 11.40 am and 12.00pm, as the victim’s back was turned to him, the man slid his hand under the victim’s polo T-shirt and bra and touched her breast. The man then pulled the victim onto his lap and kissed her on the lips. The victim testified during the trial that she was “totally shocked” by the man’s actions and felt scared and helpless.

The victim testified that she cried immediately after leaving the room. She later confided in her sister about the incident. When her sister took the stand, she testified that the victim developed a phobia of men, including her father, and would get scared when men came near her.

The victim also testified that her phobia lasted for three months and she never returned to work after the incident. She said that she was fired from her job.

A month before the molest incident, the man committed the criminal intimidation offences, this time on a 27-year-old woman who is also from the Philippines.

The man and the woman had met during the course of their work as the woman’s company had dealings with the man’s previous company. Both were in an intimate relationship for some six months where they would occasionally video call each other while they were both naked in the office toilet. The couple would also video call each other when they were showering and it was then that the man took screenshots of the woman’s nude body.

In October 2015, the woman decided to stop contacting the man, but the man received a call from a male caller whom he suspected to be the woman’s boyfriend. Following the call, the man claimed that he started receiving calls from the woman’s phone number for about a week. He did not pick up those calls.

On 12 October 2015, the man sent an email to the woman containing 19 photos of her showering, and he also threatened to send the photos to her colleagues and Facebook friends. He sent two other emails to the woman later that day with similar photos attached and hinted that he had sent the photos to her contacts.

The man’s intention was to prevent the woman from contacting him or coming over to his house. There was no evidence that the man acted on his threat to circulate the photos.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Gail Wong asked for a sentence of eight months and eight weeks for all the offences. On the molest charges, DPP Wong cited the man’s abuse of trust and his touching of the victim’s bare breast as aggravating factors.

The man’s lawyer Peter Ong said in mitigation that his client acted on the spur of the moment and is remorseful for the offences. His client’s wife submitted a letter to the court stating that she had forgiven her husband and he was welcome to work at his company again despite the offences, Ong added.

For molest, the man could have been jailed for up to two years or fined or caned or a combination of the three punishments per charge. For criminal intimidation, the man could have been jailed for up to two years and/or fined per charge.