Former NUS don avoids jail sentence after compounding molestation charge, Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

Former NUS don avoids jail sentence after compounding molestation charge

Former National University of Singapore (NUS) lecturer Jeremy Fernando has avoided a potential prison sentence after his molestation charge was compounded, the terms of which were not mentioned in court.

Dr Fernando, who was also a Tembusu College fellow, was on Jan 29 granted a discharge amounting to an acquittal.

With this development, he cannot be charged again over the same offence.

The 44-year-old had been accused of outraging a woman’s modesty. Under the law, only certain offences can be compounded, such as causing hurt and outrage of modesty.

Compounding an offence requires an agreement with the victim to have the matter compensated, usually with a payment or an apology.

Before agreeing to the terms, the public prosecutor will also need to consider the public interest, circumstances of the offence and whether there are any aggravating factors.

The Straits Times has contacted the Attorney-General’s Chambers about the terms of the composition.

Dr Fernando, who was represented by lawyer Tan Jun Yin from Trident Law Corporation, was charged in March 2023 with one count of molestation.

He had been accused of molesting a woman by kissing her lips at around 4am on July 4, 2020. There is a gag order on the identity of the victim and the location of the alleged offence.

Both he and Ms Tan declined comment when asked about their reaction to the outcome of the case.

According to earlier reports, Dr Fernando was fired by NUS following an allegation of inappropriate behaviour. NUS also lodged a police report.

If convicted of molestation, an offender can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or receive any combination of such punishments.