Businessman jailed 14 weeks for trying to molest property executive

Businessman jailed 14 weeks for trying to molest property executive
PHOTO: Reuters

First, he offered $1,000 to a property management executive to get her to reduce her assessment of the damage done in his rented service apartment.

She turned down his bribe.

When they met again the next day, Nguyen The Tuan, 41, a Singapore permanent resident from Vietnam, tried to bribe her again by pressing money into her hand.

He also placed his right hand on her left arm and leaned forward to kiss her. When she turned her head to avoid contact with him, she felt him sniffing her neck. He then said: "Hmm... smells good."

She pushed him away and ran towards the door.

For attempting to bribe and using criminal force to try to molest the woman, Nguyen was jailed for 14 weeks yesterday.

Court papers said that Nguyen managed businesses that required short-term accommodation.

Nguyen and his wife rented two service apartments near Orchard Road, which are owned and managed by a local property developer.

Last year, the developer found that the couple had breached the lease agreement by erecting unauthorised partitions and using the units for purposes other than a private residence.

The developer discontinued the lease and sent the victim to conduct the handover exercise on Feb 19. She inspected one of the apartments and assessed the damage to be $5,000.

Nguyen said he would give her $1,000 if she reduced her assessment to $1,000. She refused and gave him one more day to repair the damage.

The next day, the damages were cut to $2,500 after much negotiation.

During the negotiation, Nguyen tried to bribe her again by placing some money in between a newspaper that was in front of her.

He also repeatedly told her that she was pretty and took photos of her with his mobile phone. He then tried to molest her when she wanted to return the bribe.

Nguyen's lawyer, Mr Louis Joseph, said in mitigation that Nguyen was remorseful, his attempted bribe was a small amount and that he did not touch his victim's private parts.

But District Judge Toh Yung Cheong said during sentencing that Nguyen was persistent in attempting to bribe and had molested his victim in an enclosed space where her means of escape was restricted.

Nguyen could have been jailed up to five years, fined $100,000 or both for the bribery charge, and jailed up to two years, fined and/or caned for the molest charge.

This article was first published on July 4 2015.
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