TCM physician jailed for molesting female patient, asking about her sex life

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
Young woman receiving a back massage in a spa center. Female patient is receiving treatment by professional therapist.
(FILE PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner convicted of molesting a female patient under the guise of treatment was jailed for one year, one month and two weeks on Thursday (5 August).

Lim Ah Bah, 74, had also asked the 39-year-old woman intrusive questions about her sex life when she visited the clinic in Tanjong Pagar on 1 October 2018.

He had been earlier found guilty of two counts of molesting the victim and two counts insulting her modesty by asking her to apply lubricant on her genitals, telling her to have sex with her boyfriend, and saying that the couple should perform certain sexual acts. 

Lim is currently still registered as a physician under the Traditional Chinese Medicine Practitioners Board.

In submissions, the prosecution had argued that Lim had abused his position as a TCM practitioner. 

“He initially hoped to pull the wool over the eyes of the victim under the guise of a legitimate TCM practice. Underlying the accused’s actions was a high degree of premeditation since the victim had only consulted him for a generic problem of some ‘blockage’," said Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh. 

Lim had also asked the victim about her sex life, told her to have more sex with her boyfriend, and specified the sexual acts that they should engage in.

The physician then recommended that the woman, whose identity is under a gag order, have an upper body massage as she would have to bare her torso, according to the prosecution. 

The victim had bought a package of 10 massage sessions or “tui na” sessions with the clinic in the first half of 2018. She used one session on 24 September 2018 and was attended to by a female masseuse. She was then treated by Lim for a cough. As the treatment proved effective, the victim returned for further treatment. 

She visited on 1 October 2018 to consult Lim, during which he suggested that her boyfriend perform a sexual act as part of a treatment. The offended victim told him not to “talk nonsense”.

After the victim proceeded to have her massage, she removed her bra but left her singlet and pants on. Lim entered the room with a bottle of gel and claimed that he needed to massage the victim’s genitals. However, the victim stopped him and said she could do it herself. She massaged herself under Lim’s guidance.

Lim then lifted up the victim’s singlet to perform a massage. He applied powder to her breasts and molested her.

That night, the victim did research online and discovered that the treatment Lim had performed on her did not exist. Enraged, she called him and recorded the conversation, during which Lim said that the powder he had applied on her breast was expensive but that he had not charged her for it. He insisted that his method was legitimate.

For molest, he could have been jailed up to two years, and/or fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old. For insulting a woman’s modesty, he could have been jailed up to a year, and/or fined.

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