Singapore

Ex-Certis officer jailed for molesting two female subordinates

A Certis security officer abused his position as a team leader and molested two of his female subordinates at the workplace.

The 55-year-old Singaporean was sentenced to 10 weeks in jail yesterday after he pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation.

Details about his identity and workplace cannot be disclosed due to a gag order to protect the women's identities.

Responding to queries from The Straits Times, Certis said the man was suspended from all duties immediately after his arrest on March 27 last year, and he resigned the following month.

The court heard that while he was working as a team leader, he frequently passed comments about women's bodies and looks. He also cracked "dirty" jokes relating to sex and female private parts.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Kwang Jia Min said: "Even though the female team members working under the accused felt disgusted at those comments and jokes, they did not dare to openly show their displeasure as the accused was their supervisor."

Some time in February last year, one of the victims, aged 23, was at work when the man smacked her buttocks.

She felt traumatised after the incident, the court heard.

The next month, he molested another woman, aged 22, at the workplace by stroking her thigh.

The DPP said the woman felt shocked and uncomfortable with the accused touching her.

As it was her first day in the accused's team and he was her supervisor, she was scared, "did not know what to do, and did not dare to openly push the accused's hand away".

During a conversation, the older victim finally told the deputy team leader what the man had done and the deputy team leader alerted the woman's other seniors.

The younger woman separately made a police report.

In its statement yesterday, Certis said: "Certis has a zero-tolerance policy for criminal acts and takes a serious view of this incident... We will not hesitate to take necessary action on any employee who fails to meet the required standard."

For each count of molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.

The offender in this case cannot be caned as he is over 50 years old. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME