7/19/2014

IMH psychiatrist suspended for affair with patient

A psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health who initiated an affair with a patient he was seeing has been suspended from practice for 24 months, the Singapore Medical Council (SMC) said yesterday.

Dr Solomon Wong Kee Miew, 42, started seeing the female patient in April 2011, and immediately took a liking to her as he found her attractive. He would intentionally schedule consultation sessions with the woman such that he could spend more time with her, an SMC disciplinary tribunal noted.

At their sixth and final session in October that year, Dr Wong complimented her on her complexion and touched her on the cheek. He also asked if she would be keen to keep in touch with him and asked for her number.

About one month later, they started dating and first had sex soon after. Dr Wong had also sneaked out while he was on duty on at least two occasions to go on dates with her — once going for a musical with her at Marina Bay Sands.

After they ended their relationship in February 2012, the woman confided in one of Dr Wong’s colleagues, who lodged a complaint with the SMC on March 14.

At a disciplinary hearing in May, Dr Wong pleaded guilty to misusing his professional position to pursue and establish an improper relationship with the patient. In pleading for his suspension to be capped at 12 months, Dr Wong’s lawyers told the tribunal it was the first time he had committed such a misdemeanour, adding that he had also shown remorse by seeking psychotherapeutic treatment and counselling since.

The SMC’s lawyers, however, asked for a 36-month suspension, noting that Dr Wong had taken the initiative to pursue the improper relationship. Worse, the woman was particularly vulnerable as she was a psychiatric patient, they added.

In considering the sentence to be imposed, the disciplinary tribunal said: “We are in full agreement that the misconduct of having a sexual relationship with a patient is particularly grave and brings disrepute to the medical profession.”

Dr Wong was suspended for two years, until May 25, 2016, and censured.

- TODAY newspaper

7/17/2014

Jogger had sex with underage girl in woods

AFTER exchanging friendly greetings with a girl he met while jogging in a former cemetery, Hem Raj Thapa asked her to go with him into the woods.

She agreed and they walked into a secluded area, later parting ways following a quick tryst.

The problem, however, was that the girl was only 15.

Yesterday, the Nepalese man, 32, was sentenced to one year's jail after pleading guilty to underage sex with the girl last December. One similar charge was taken into consideration.

A district court heard that the pair had greeted each other after meeting on a footpath in the old Bidadari cemetery near Woodleigh MRT station, between 6.30pm and 7.30pm on Dec 29 last year.

Hem Raj Thapa felt that the girl, who was taking a stroll, was being friendly towards him. He made his request with a gesture, after fantasising about having sex with her.

As they walked into the woods, he asked her for her age and she replied that she was 15.

After 10 to 15 minutes of walking, Hem Raj Thapa kissed and touched the girl, and removed her clothes. She did not resist as he then committed the offence.

However, he was caught after the minor visited a clinic to get contraceptive pills the next day and the doctor reported the matter to the police.

The man, whose occupation was not stated in court papers, said through an interpreter that he was remorseful and had young children.

The maximum penalty for sex with a person under the age of 16 is a jail term of 10 years and a fine.

- The Straits Times

Supermart manager jailed 12 weeks for taking video of colleague changing

A supermarket manager who used his mobile phone to record a colleague changing in the toilet was jailed for 12 weeks on Wednesday.

Pang Sou Bak, 30, was working at Giant supermarket at Yishun Street 72 when he insulted the modesty of the 26-year-old woman on May 29.

The court heard that Pang had finished his shift that day and learnt that his work would be taken over by the victim, a sales team leader.

He knew who she was and was curious to know what she would look like without her clothes on, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Terence Szetoh Khai Hoe.

Pang decided to take a video of her changing into her staff uniform.

At about 11pm, he went into the staff toilet cubicle. After setting his mobile phone into video recording mode, he placed it on a shelf in the toilet with the camera pointing towards the middle of the toilet.

He left. A few minutes later, the victim entered the toilet to change and was caught on video without her top on and in her bra, She suddenly saw the cellphone on the shelf and stopped the video recording.

As she recognised that the phone belonged to Pang, she immediately confronted him. He apologised, and she called the police.

Further investigation showed that the mobile phone had an eight-minute long video recording containing footage of the victim taking off her blouse and exposing her upper body and bra.

Pang has unrelated convictions 10 years ago for burglary, lurking house trespass and outrage of modesty. He could have been jailed for up to one year and/or fined for insulting modesty.

- The Straits Times

Archie comic barred from sale due to same-sex marriage depiction



An Archie comic book depicting a same-sex marriage has been barred from sale in Singapore after a complaint from a member of the public, and the National Library Board (NLB) is reviewing its currently available copies.

Mr Sonny Liew, 39, a graphic novelist based in Singapore, uncovered the restriction after writing to bookseller Kinokuniya on July 10. When asked, the Media Development Authority (MDA) said it had assessed the comic in March after receiving a complaint and found it breached the guidelines with "its depiction of the same-sex marriage of two characters".

The MDA added: "The Publications Consultative Panel, which comprises a cross-section of (28 members from) Singapore society, was consulted. Its members advised that the theme of the comic was not in line with social norms and is in breach of existing content guidelines."

The MDA said the importing and distribution of publications is largely self-regulated, with book retailers referring to the guidelines on its website. "MDA reviews public feedback or complaints and takes action on a case-by-case basis if there are breaches of its guidelines," it said.

Checks on the NLB's catalogue on Wednesday night showed it had four copies available for borrowing, from the Ang Mo Kio, Bedok, Cheng San and Yishun libraries. All four copies were on loan.

When asked, the NLB said it had bought the comic book before MDA found it in breach. "We will be reviewing the book in light of MDA's decision," said a spokesman. It added that the comic was acquired for its adult collection. "NLB takes a broader approach for (this) collection than it does for its children's collection."

The comic book, Archie: The Married Life Book Three, is part of a series that looks at the iconic character's life after he graduates from high school. The book was published in 2013 and depicts the marriage of Kevin Keller, the series' first openly gay character.

In the series' latest issue, which was released in the United States on Wednesday, Archie dies taking a bullet for Kevin, who is now a senator, during an assassination attempt.

- The Straits Times

Revenge porn: Shame in a snap

All he wanted to do was to shame her.

His former girlfriend had refused to resume their relationship. Hurt and angry, he sent her naked photo to her and a few friends under an assumed persona.

For legal reasons, we cannot name the woman and shall call the man "John". Both are in their early 20s.

John even threatened to send the photo to her parents and more friends.

This is what experts call revenge porn. The term was made infamous in 2010 by Hunter Moore, whose website Is Anyone Up? gained international attention for publishing nude images of young girls. The photos were gleaned from the cellphone archives of spurned ex-boyfriends.

The site often included victims' identifying information, such as names, employers and even addresses.

Psychologist Richard Lim says that often, jilted men resort to revenge porn because they want to vent their rage over being rejected. He adds: "A woman's modesty may seem the easiest way to target, it's where they are most vulnerable."

Britain is now considering outlawing revenge porn, said Justice Secretary Chris Grayling on July 1.

In Singapore, one can be charged under several laws, including electronically transmitting obscene objects, insulting a woman's modesty and, if a threat was made, criminal intimidation.

In John's case, his ex-girlfriend made a police report and he was apprehended.

He is still serving his probation sentence. He has also been ordered to perform community service.

The New Paper on Sunday caught up with John last week after he had finished two hours of community service.

John says ruefully: "I wanted to shame my ex-girlfriend. But I ended up shaming myself and my family members."

He buries his face in his hands briefly, then looks up with a wry smile.

"My father was so furious with me and my mother constantly broke into tears from the time the police came knocking on our door until the trial," he says.

It was a moment of folly that he emphasises no man should succumb to.

John says: "It doesn't matter how angry you feel when your girl rejects you. It doesn't matter how much you think she has hurt you. "The minute you give in to your hate and anger, you are screwing with your own life."

He declines to provide details on the past relationship, except that they had been dating for a couple of years before breaking up.

But several months after their break-up, they met again and ended up having sex. It was then that he took a picture of her.

"At that time, I only wanted the photo as a sweet memento of my first love," he claims.

"I didn't take it with any intention of hurting her."

He admits that he was lucky he managed to escape going to jail. "I was warned and was also mentally prepared that I could be sentenced up to one year, other than being fined," he recalls.

"I could not sleep the whole week before the hearing and I kept worrying over my future if I ended up in jail."

When the case made local headlines, some of his "old-time" friends even called him up "just to poke fun" at him.

"They laughed in my face at my stupidity and made so many hurtful comments. But I could not blame them because I was really the stupid one," he says quietly.

He turned into a semi-recluse and avoided going out to meet friends. He says: "I felt ashamed of what I had done and I don't think I could stand more friends mocking me."

John is now taking small steps towards rebuilding his life. For a start, he is taking on part-time jobs - he doesn't dare to try applying for a full-time job because he dreads bringing up the past.

"I need a lot of courage, which I hope I will gradually muster. For now, I will just have to rely on my parents and the few really true friends who have not given up on me," he says.

VICTIM 1

The first victim, who wants to be known only as Ellen, did not even find out about it until nearly a week later.

By then, her ex-boyfriend had shared six of her naked photos on his Facebook account. He had more than 300 friends.

The man also tagged her in two of the photos, which made them accessible to her own 250-odd Facebook friends.

Ellen, 23, tells The New Paper on Sunday: "No one alerted me to it and I found out only through the notification after I had logged into my Facebook account.

"About 30 friends had actually liked the photos and not said anything to me. I'm not a regular user, so it was quite late by then."

Ellen admits that all the photos were taken with her knowledge.

"They were taken by my ex when we were both still dating and to be honest, I had forgotten all about them," she says.

She and her ex-boyfriend dated for three years before splitting last January.

Ellen had been the one to call off the relationship as she felt that he was too possessive.

"I had to report every moment to him and he would call me at odd times just to check where I was. That irritated me a lot," she says.

"We kept trying to make it work with his constant promises that he would change, but it was still the same after one year."

Fed-up, she suggested that they break up.

A week after her "final decision", he shared Ellen's photos.

After she found out, her mother and elder brother accompanied her to confront the man at his home.

"At first, he kept denying it in front of his parents and two younger sisters," says Ellen.

"In the end, I had no choice but to log into my Facebook account and call up the photos to prove that he was lying.

"I was so embarrassed but I felt I needed to take action before it became worse."

Her ex-boyfriend's father "hammered him in front of us", she recalls.

In the end, the younger man deleted all the photos and even shut down his Facebook account.

She didn't make a police report.

Ellen says: "I chose to move on and forgive him. I also shut down my old Facebook account and opened a new one with a more stringent privacy setting."

VICTIM 2

Miss Joan Tan, 29, had taken nude and intimately-posed photos with her former boyfriend of five years.

But in the last year of their relationship, she cheated on him.

Miss Tan, a telemarketing executive, says: "He was hurt and angry when he found out, but he wanted to give our relationship another go.

"But I told him I wanted to break up and I think that hurt him even more."

After trying unsuccessfully to make up, Miss Tan's ex-boyfriend decided to change tack.

He shared photos which they had taken when they were together, uploading two a day.

Miss Tan says: "At first, they were innocent photos and he'd write stuff like, 'I miss our days together'. But I retaliated by putting up photos of my new boyfriend and I on dates."

The revenge, she says, was such a silly move. It provoked him into turning offensive and he started to share the more salacious photos of them together.

He even "marked" dates to reflect that she had been two-timing.

Miss Tan says: "I was shocked. And my new boyfriend was so angry that he broke up with me."

Her own revenge had backfired.

"I wanted to hurt him. He hurt me in return. And another innocent party was also hurt in the process," says Miss Tan.
Her ex-boyfriend removed the photos after he learnt of the break up.

She recalls one line she read in the newspapers on a revenge porn case and quotes Deputy Assistant Commissioner of Police Wilson Lim.

She says: "He advised the public not to put themselves in compromising situations which may make them vulnerable to blackmail.

"All I can say is that he is right."

- The New Paper

JC teacher jailed for sex with boy, 14

A JUNIOR college teacher who engaged in sexual activity with a 14-year-old boy he befriended on Facebook was jailed for 25 months yesterday.

Physics teacher Paul Tan Sze Aik, 37, admitted to three charges with three other offences, including having obscene films, taken into consideration during sentencing.

Undergraduate Suhaimi Shamsudin, 24, had earlier also been jailed for engaging in sex acts with the youngster.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy-Shanaz told the court that Tan, who already had a Facebook account, set up another one specifically to meet new friends online using the moniker "Alegon Kenny Lonewolf".

In November 2012, he sent a "friend request" to the minor, introducing himself as a 19-year-old living alone as his parents were overseas.

After chatting online, they arranged to meet.

Tan, who has been suspended from his teaching post, picked up the boy from a bus interchange on Dec 2 and took him to his mother's Bishan flat.

They later went out for dinner and returned to the flat, where the boy watched television while Tan surfed the Internet and packed for his trip.

Tan left on the pretext of picking up his brother but returned alone about 30 minutes later. At about midnight, the pair went into Tan's bedroom, where he committed an obscene act and the sexual offence.

Ms Sripathy-Shanaz called for a tough sentence, describing Tan as a "wolf in sheep's skin" and an "unscrupulous sex offender" who initiated each sexual act with the minor.

It was Tan's actions that propelled the illicit, inappropriate liaison forward purely to satisfy his carnality, she added.

"It was the accused who facilitated the offences by opening his home to the minor. The flat provided the accused with the privacy he needed to engage in a night of corrupting debauchery with a 14-year-old boy," she said.

She said the case was one of an alarming number recently involving adults engaging in sexual activity with troubled, misguided young people shortly after befriending them over the Internet.

Ms Sripathy-Shanaz argued that the court has a duty to halt this trend.

District Judge Siva Shanmugam said yesterday that young and vulnerable victims need to be protected from sexual exploitation, regardless of whether the acts were consensual.

He noted several aggravating factors in Tan's case: "The accused had full knowledge of the minor's age but this did not deter him from initiating and engaging in numerous sexual acts with the minor at the earliest available opportunity.

Tan could have been jailed for up to 10 years and/or fined for having sex with a person under 16 years of age. He could also have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to two years for each count of committing an obscene act with a young person.

- The Straits Times

7/14/2014

Lawyer for gay couple argues that anti-same sex law should not apply to private acts

The law that criminalises sex between men should be modified so that it does not apply to private acts between consenting adults, the lawyer for a gay couple argued in the Court of Appeal on Monday.

Senior Counsel Deborah Barker, representing Mr Gary Lim, 46, and Mr Kenneth Chee, 39, said her clients are not asking for affirmation that male homosexual conduct is acceptable in Singapore.

Rather, they are seeking a ruling from the highest court in Singapore that the majority cannot, in the guise of public morality, target an unpopular minority group by restricting their intimate conduct in private which is legal for everyone else.

The three-judge Court of Appeal is hearing the joint appeals of two separate challanges against Section 377A of the Penal Code, which makes it a crime for men to commit acts of "gross indecency" with other men.

Mr Lim and Mr Chee had filed their challenge after Mr Tan Eng Hong, 50, first contested the law in 2010 after he was charged for having oral sex with another man in a public toilet.

Both the couple and Mr Tan contend that Section 377A is unconstitutional. Their cases were separately heard - and dismissed - by the same High Court judge last year.

Both appealed. The Court of Appeal later granted Mr Tan's request for his appeal to be heard together with that of the couple, after his lawyer, Mr M. Ravi, argued that this was more efficient than having the court hearing the same issues twice.

Two days have been scheduled for the appeal hearing, during which Ms Barker, Mr Ravi and Senior Counsel Aedit Abdullah from the Attorney-General's Chambers will be making their respective arguments on the issue.

- The Straits Times

7/11/2014

Man, 21, gets probation for threatening to circulate topless photos of girl, 14

A national serviceman was given 15 months' probation and ordered to do 80 hours of community service for threatening to circulate topless photos of a 14-year-old girl on the Internet.

Ng Kai Boon, 21, had sweet-talked the girl into sending him a topless picture of herself last year. He then threatened to post the picture online and managed to get her to send him more such photos. Months later in March this year, he demanded that the girl accept his friend request on Facebook. If not, he would post her topless photos online, he said.

The girl went to the police instead.

On Friday, Ng was sentenced to probation after pleading guilty to criminally intimidating the girl. His parents also had to sign a $5,000 bond to ensure his good behaviour.

A community court earlier heard that Ng had gotten to know the girl in March 2013 through social media, and started chatting with her on WhatsApp after they had exchanged phone numbers. A few days later, he convinced her to send him the first topless photo.

She later blocked him from her contact list and broke off contact.

But on March 21 this year, Ng tried to add her on Facebook and sent her a message, threatening to circulate the pictures if she did not accept.

During investigations, Ng said he had threatened his victim "out of fun" and had not carried out the threats.

For threatening the girl with injury to her reputation intending to cause her alarm, Ng could have been jailed for two years and fined.

- The Straits Times



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