RSAF officer who molested female student in NTU dormitory gets 4 weeks’ jail , Latest Singapore News - The New Paper

RSAF officer who molested female student in NTU dormitory gets 4 weeks’ jail

A Republic of Singapore Air Force lieutenant-colonel who molested a female student in a Nanyang Technological University (NTU) dormitory in 2022 was sentenced to four weeks’ jail on March 19.

Neo Aik Chiao, 47, who had flown helicopters including the Chinook, pleaded guilty on Jan 10 to one count each of molestation and criminal trespass.

A second criminal trespass charge was taken into consideration during his sentencing.

Neo had entered the 21-year-old victim’s room located on a floor exclusively for female students.

There is a gag order on her name and the specific location of the incident to protect her identity.

In an earlier statement, the Ministry of Defence said Neo has been suspended from all duties.

The ministry also said that it would carefully assess the eventual findings before deciding on further action.

In earlier proceedings, defence lawyers Sunil Sudheesan and Joyce Khoo, from Quahe Woo & Palmer, said that Neo went to NTU, his alma mater, to seek emotional comfort, as the institution represented “a place of fond memories and familiarity”.

They said Neo had been in a low mood since his godfather, whom he was very close to, died in June 2022.

The lawyers added that before committing the offences, Neo had consumed beer and planned to visit his godfather’s home to seek solace, but ended up at NTU instead.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Wong Shiau Yin told the court that the victim was lying on a bed in her dormitory at about 2am on Nov 13, 2022, when she heard a knock on the door.

Neo opened it before she could react. He spoke to her briefly before entering the room without her permission.

Neo then closed the door and locked it.

He sat on the bed and told her that he was tired as he had just climbed many flights of stairs.

DPP Wong said that the victim was puzzled but did not react, as Neo looked tired and was sweating profusely.

He asked the student for a drink, and she directed him to a water cooler on another level.

Instead of leaving, Neo remained seated on her bed and asked for directions to Halls 10 and 14, saying he was looking for a friend who was residing in one of the blocks.

After the student told him where they were, Neo asked for directions to other halls.

He then asked her if she wanted to earn some extra income and “accompany” him for $1,000.

“The victim felt uncomfortable as the accused was making a sexual proposition,” said DPP Wong.

The student rejected Neo, saying she did not need the money, and told him to leave. Neo went on to touch her left thigh.

After the student repeated her request for him to leave her room, Neo stood up from the bed, walked towards her and touched her left arm.

He placed his hands on her shoulders and said in Mandarin: “Is $1,000 okay? Can you accompany me?”

Scared, the victim pushed Neo away and shouted for him to leave the room.

He eventually walked to the door and told the student it was locked and that he could not open it.

The student then took out her phone to call her friend. When Neo saw this, he unlocked the door and left the room.

The student called campus security and made a police report.

A report from the Institute of Mental Health stated that Neo was intoxicated at the time of the offence, and that there may be a partial contributory link between his intoxication and loss of restraint.

The report added that he was not of unsound mind at the time of the offence.