For four straight days, a project manager made sexual advances on his firm’s receptionist when his other colleagues were away from the office.
The victim, a 33-year-old woman, did not report the offences initially as she wanted to give the 34-year-old man a chance.
On Monday (19 November), the man pleaded guilty to two counts of molesting the woman and was sentenced to nine months’ jail. Another two counts were taken into consideration for his sentence.
Prior to the offences, the man and the victim had just been transferred to the office in Redhill. The two cannot be named due to a gag order.
According to court documents, the victim was manning the reception counter on 13 September 2016 at about 3pm. Her colleagues had left for meetings, leaving her and the man behind.
It was then that the man approached the victim and hugged her from the back. He molested the victim several times despite her protests. Instead of stopping, he slid his hand under the victim’s skirt to molest her.
The victim was shocked and distressed and but did not make a police report as she was hoping the man would stop his actions.
The next day, at the same time, the victim was again manning the reception and alone with the man when the others were out for meetings. While the victim was on the phone, the man approached the victim from her front and molested her a few times. The woman tried to push him away.
The man repeated the acts at the same time over the next two days. On her day off on 17 September, the victim called her superior to complain before making a police report.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon sought 10 months’ jail for the man, citing the intrusion of the woman’s private parts as an aggravating factor.
The man’s lawyer Chooi Jing Yen said in mitigation that there was “some expression of interest” between the two parties prior to the offences, but noted that the interest might not have been reciprocated.
He added that the offences were not premeditated but committed in an “opportunistic manner” when no one else was present in the office.
DPP Poon replied, however, that the offences occurred on the same time on different days, which pointed to some degree of premeditation. She added that any supposed relationship between the man and his colleague was just an assumption on the man’s part.
In sentencing the man, District Judge Luke Tan stated that even if there was no premeditation on the first occurrence, the same could not be said of the other three instances of molest.
According to the lawyer, the man will be leaving the company and is currently serving his notice period.
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