TCM practitioner guilty of molesting female patient during massage

·Senior Reporter
·3-min read
A woman getting a massage.
A woman getting a massage. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A Traditional Chinese Medicine (TCM) practitioner was convicted on Wednesday (30 June) of molesting a female patient whom he claimed to be treating.

Lim Ah Bah, 74, sought to pass off his sexual acts as legitimate TCM treatment and had tried to warm up the then 39-year-old woman to the acts by asking her intrusive questions about her sex life when she visited the clinic in Tanjong Pagar on 1 October 2018.

District Judge Christopher Goh found Lim guilty of his 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 indicating that the couple should perform certain sexual acts.

In urging the court to convict Lim, Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh said in her closing submissions, “What had happened is evident to all. The accused had abused his position as TCM practitioner. He was obviously physically attracted to the victim as seen by how he complimented her beauty in the clinic’s counter area.”

“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’.”

Lim then asked the woman, whose identity is under a gag order, about her sex life and told her to have more sex with her boyfriend, specifying certain acts that she should engage in.

The practitioner then recommended that the woman have an upper body massage as she would have to bare her torso.

According to the prosecution, when Lim realised that his defence would not hold water, he claimed that the victim was the one who exposed herself and requested that he perform a sexual act on her. He then alleged that all he performed was a foot massage.

The victim bought a package of 10 massage or “tui na” sessions with the clinic in the earlier 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 at Lim’s advice to “clear some blockage in (her) body”, said the prosecution.

She returned on 1 October 2018 to consult Lim. During the consultation, Lim told the victim to have her boyfriend perform a sexual act on her to cure her blockage problem. The victim felt offended by his words and told him not to “talk nonsense”.

After the victim proceeded to a treatment room for 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 confronted him via a phone call the next day. She recorded the call, in which Lim was captured saying 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.

Lim will be sentenced on 5 August. For molest, he faces up to two years’ jail, and/or a fine. He cannot be caned as he is above 50 years old. For insulting a woman’s modesty, he faces a jail term of up to a year, and/or a fine.

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