71-year-old private school general manager molested new hire, insisted on paying her phone bills

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SINGAPORE - The general manager of a private school arranged a lunch meeting with a woman he had hired to explain work procedures and ended up molesting her.

The Singaporean offender, now 71, pleaded guilty on Wednesday (Sept 8) to two molestation charges.

Details about the man and the school cannot be disclosed due to a gag order to protect the 32-year-old victim's identity.

 

The court heard that he first met the woman on Oct 1, 2019 when he interviewed her for a job.

He decided to employ her, and arranged to meet her for lunch two days later, before she was due to start work.

During the lunch on Oct 3, he asked her why she could not be reached on one of her phone numbers.

 

The woman said the line had been disconnected after she failed to settle the bill.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Theong Li Han said: "The accused then held the victim's hands and offered to pay her phone bills for her.

"The accused also told the victim that he liked her, and used his hands to rub the victim's back from her bra strap to her lower waist area over her clothing.

"The victim declined the accused's offer and told the accused that she was already grateful to have got a job."

 

After that, the two went to Sim Lim Square. They were in a lift when he molested her again.

The man later took out $150 in cash and told the woman to use it to settle her phone bills. The woman initially declined the offer but relented when he insisted by thrusting the money at her.

The pair were leaving Sim Lim Square when the man reached out to hold the woman's hands.The woman pulled away and told the man that she was not comfortable with him doing so.

The man then suggested that he could hold her hands when they were in a private place in the future. The woman did not respond to his suggestion, the court heard.

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The pair were walking along Prinsep Street nearby when he held her hands again.

The DPP said: "The victim retracted her hands. However, the accused then turned her towards him and kissed her once on her lips.

"The accused told the victim that he liked her and that he would not hurt her.

"The victim did not respond to the accused. She did not consent to the accused holding her hands or kissing her."

Later that day, the woman signed an employment contract, as she needed a job, the DPP said.

She made a police report about the incident at around 7.30pm the same day. The man will be sentenced on Sept 15.

For each count of molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned. The man cannot be caned, as he is more than 50 years old.

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.