SINGAPORE: A sports massage therapist was fined S$5,000 by a court on Tuesday (Jan 10) for molesting a woman during a massage session.
Ken Lim Hup Kheng, 49, was originally set to go to trial but chose to plead guilty instead to one charge of outraging the modesty of the victim, who was 27 at the time.
Her identity is protected by gag order.
The court heard that the victim’s physiotherapist recommended that she go for sports massages sometime in May 2018.
From January 2018, she went to Lim, who was working at a physiotherapy and massage therapy clinic.
On Jul 3, 2021, she went for her regular sports massage with Lim.
While she was lying face down on the massage table, with a towel draped over her body, Lim asked the victim to flex her buttock muscles.
Thinking that it was part of a leg exercise, the victim complied.
Lim squeezed the victim’s buttock and commented “wow, it’s really muscles” before continuing his massage.
The victim was shocked by the touch but remained there until the session ended as she did not know how to react.
After the session, she cancelled her remaining massage sessions with Lim and complained to his employer before lodging a police report.
The prosecution asked for a fine of S$5,000. Defence lawyer Chooi Jing Yen agreed with this.
He said this was a one-off lapse and Lim is deeply regretful. He had been working as a sports massage therapist with his company for seven years without incident and had good appraisals, said Mr Chooi.
The prosecutor said he was not applying for a compensation order, saying the nature of the offence means it would be quite difficult to quantify any compensation.
For using criminal force on a person to outrage their modesty, Lim could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these punishments.