SINGAPORE — While in his clinic with a 12-year-old boy, a traditional Chinese medicine (TCM) practitioner touched the boy’s genitals and kissed him on the lips.
Physician Pang Chan Hong claimed trial to the charges but was convicted and sentenced to one-and-a-half year’s jail on Wednesday (26 August).
Pang, who is listed as the doctor at Yida TCM clinic in Serangoon North, will be appealing both his conviction and sentence. According to the TCM Practitioners Board, Pang has been a registered TCM practitioner since 15 November 2007 and his current practising certificate is valid until 30 June 2022.
The 57-year-old Singaporean is said to have used criminal force on the victim by touching his bare genitals and kissing him on the lips between 9pm and 9.45pm on 24 July 2018 while in the consultation room of Yida Traditional Chinese Medicine Clinic. The victim, who was at the clinic for treatment, cannot be named due to a court-imposed gag order.
At the time of the offence, the victim’s mother was in also in the room but facing away from the victim as she too was undergoing treatment.
The boy, who is now 14 years old, related the incident to his mother after the treatment. The mother then called Pang and the doctor apologised to her, according to the mother’s testimony.
The mother made a police report the next day.
Although the mother-and-son pair were repeat patients at the clinic, they never returned after the incident.
In convicting Pang, District Judge Carol Ling said that she found the boy to be a credible witness and that he had no motive to make a false accusation against the physician. In contrast, Pang’s denial of the offences were unsupported by his own police statements.
Pang had made “clear admissions of guilty and expressions of contrition in the statement, padded with explanations as to why the accused did what he did”, said the judge.
Pang further maintained his admission and expression of contrition in a cautioned statement and did not record a denial of the incidence nor any expression of innocence, she added.
Physician targetted boy when mother facing away: Prosecution
The prosecution sought a jail term of two years and an additional six weeks in lieu of three strokes of the cane for Pang, as he is over 50 and cannot be caned.
A prosecutor told the court that Pang had abused his position of trust as a TCM practitioner. The victim had also sought treatment for him on previous occasions.
She added that the skin-to-skin touching of the victim’s private parts were non-fleeting as he had “somewhat grabbed” the victim’s penis and thereafter also touched and “somewhat grabbed” the victim’s testicles before kissing him on the lips. Pang had also capitalised on the fact that the victim’s mother was facing away from the victim as she was being treated.
The DPP added that Pang should not be entitled to a sentencing discount as he had claimed trial and the boy was called on to testify.
Pang’s lawyers Diana Ngiam and Sujesh Anandan called for 16 months’ jail, saying that the offence had not been premeditated as the victim had not made an appointment before attending the clinic.
There was also no evidence to prove that Pang had positioned the boy’s mother away from the pair so that he could commit the offences.
The lawyers argued that Pang claiming trial was a neutral factor and should not be counted against their client.
Yahoo News Singapore has reached out to the TCM Practitioners Board for comment.
For molesting a person under 14, Pang could have been jailed up to five years, fined, or caned, or any combination of the penalties.
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