The number of reported sexual assault cases in Singapore has been increasing, which is definitely an alarming concern.
Last year, there was a surge in outrage of modesty cases amongst university students, including cases of peeping toms and molesters.
Recently, a young woman who was molested by a Singapore Management University (SMU) student took the stand to testify against him and recounted the incident, which had occurred in January last year.
SMU Student Accused Of Molesting A Girl During Study Session
The accused SMU student, Lee Yan Ru, now 24, is facing one molestation charge.
The woman, who is from another university, is now 22, and her identity is protected by a gag order.
Lee allegedly rubbed his privates on her chest in a study room at the university on 8 January last year, and he also groped her under a table, followed her into a ladies’ washroom and placed his arm around her in the school lift.
Both of them met through Instagram a week prior to the incident when Lee messaged her regarding a photo that she had posted.
The woman said that she made it clear that she had a boyfriend from the very start, hoping that he would “take the hint”.
But it wasn’t easy, as Lee was quite persistent.
He offered to take her out for a meal and she declined politely. However, she continued to talk to him about their mutual friends and school, as she “didn’t want to be rude and brush him off”.
Eventually, they moved their conversation to the messaging application, Telegram, and planned a meet-up at Kith Cafe at SMU to study together.
During the study session, Lee made her uncomfortable with his actions.
“I felt awkward. I didn’t really know how to act, because if it’s someone I didn’t know, I’d have moved away or left the place, but considering the nature of our acquaintanceship and how we had mutual friends, I didn’t know how to respond,” the woman said.
They Met Again At Night To Study
After that study session, they met again later on at night on the same day. The woman was finishing up her lab report and she agreed to meet Lee to do their work together.
She said that she had agreed because meeting someone would prevent her from falling asleep so she can finish her assignment.
Her boyfriend did not know that she was meeting Lee that night as he had fallen asleep before she could tell him.
Lee brought her to one of the rooms in the School of Economics and Social Science Building at SMU around 12.30am on 8 Jan 2019.
After they started studying, Lee used his foot to reach the woman under the table and rested his heel on her thigh multiple times.
She pushed his foot away.
“It just felt really awkward and I’m not really verbal when I’m awkward,” she said.
Once she was done with her work, she lay down on her back on the floor and watched a show on her laptop.
Lee joined her on the floor after a while, and suggested that they should move under a table as the lights were “really bright”.
He tried to grope her body when the movie ended around 4am, and the woman had to pry his hands off her.
She Did Not Know How To React & Felt Awkward
Shaken, the victim asked Lee to bring her to a place where she can smoke in an attempt to escape the uncomfortable situation.
When Deputy Public Prosecutor Andre Chong asked her why she did not just leave instead, the woman said that it was the middle of the night and there was no mode of transportation.
“I didn’t want to make him feel bad. I didn’t want to make things hostile,” she added.
“Usually if it’s someone I didn’t know, I would have just gotten up and left. But this was different because we have gotten to know each other already, so I just didn’t have it in me to say something or walk off. Considering we were alone in school … the last thing I wanted was to turn him into an enemy.”
During the smoke break, Lee put his arm around her, which she found inappropriate as she had a boyfriend. She moved away from him but did not want to say anything as she did not want to embarrass him.
His Multiple Advances And Attempts To Kiss Her
They returned back to the school after that and Lee followed her into a female toilet, as the men’s toilet was “too far away”.
He also tried to kiss her and push her down onto the table once they reached the room, but she resisted. He then tried to kiss her three more times but failed, and hugged her “really tightly” instead.
Even after all of this, Lee still continued to try. The woman suspected that he had exposed himself and placed his private parts on her leg, as she felt something warm on her thigh. However, she did not dare to look down and asked to leave instead.
Lee told her that she could leave for another smoke break if she kissed him first.
Later on during the day, the court heard that the woman was allegedly molested when she fell asleep.
Once Lee got off her, the woman left the room and alerted a security guard who was on duty at SMU. She also called the police at 6.37am.
The security guard took the stand on 7 September, and he said that he saw a male student kneeling down as though he was asking for forgiveness from the woman.
Lee’s trial resumes today.
If convicted of molesting the woman, he can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given a combination of these penalties.
Update: Woman Had To See Psychologist After The Incident
In an update on the case by ST, the woman told the court that she had to consult a psychologist after the incident.
She was diagnosed with “stress disorder”, she added.
She went to see a general practitioner after and was prescribed Xanax, a medication used to treat anxiety disorders.
She also couldn’t focus in school and failed a module, she told the prosecutor.
Read Also: 48-Year-Old Man Arrested & Charged For Molesting 17-Year-Old Girl On Bus In Toa Payoh
Fresh grads, you don’t need any experience to earn up to $4,200 with this “secret”:
- Revisiting the Cat Ban in Singapore: Why Some of the HDB Reasons to Ban Cats Don’t Make Sense
- Why People Are Talking About a Woodlands Void Deck That’s Been “Sealed Off”
- 34YO Woman & 3-Week-Old Infant Found Dead at Foot of Ghim Moh HDB Flat; Second Such Incident in a Month
- Popular Tian Tian Lai Nasi Lemak Has Closed Down After 22 Years
- 10 Places to Experience Snow This Christmas in Singapore
- Police Investigating “Man in Woman’s Dress” Who Force Opens MRT Train Door & Lies At Station
- In 2024, HDB Households Might Finally be Able to Keep Up to 2 Cats Per Flat