Ex-NUS senior lecturer molest case (2019)

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A former senior lecturer from the National University of Singapore (NUS) was sentenced to 14 weeks' jail after he was found guilty of molesting an undergraduate while onboard a campus shuttle bus.

Profile

Long Yun was a senior lecturer for the department of Chemical and Biomolecular engineering in NUS. Photo credit to Wong Kai Chow (ST Photo).

A gag order had been issued to protect the identity of the victim.[1]

Long Yun

The accused, Long Yun, was a senior lecturer from NUS’ Department of Chemical and Biomolecular Engineering. Long moved to Singapore from China in 2013 and became a permanent resident in 2015.[2] He holds a PhD in Chemical Engineering from North Carolina State University and was recognised by NUS for his dedication and commitment as an educator in 2016. He was also listed on the Honours List for the Faculty of Engineering.[3]


Long is married and has an eight-year-old son who used to live with him in Singapore. However, the court heard that Long had been living alone as his wife had returned to China with their son to run a business there. As an only child, Long was financially supporting his parents in China.[4]

Details of incident

Molested on an NUS campus bus

The victim had been molested while on board an NUS shuttle bus. Photo from The Straits Times.

On 14 January 2019, at around noon, the victim boarded the NUS shuttle bus service A1 at Lower Kent Ridge Road. As the bus was crowded, she had gone up through the rear door and stood next to a pole. Soon after, Long boarded through the same door and stood near the victim.[5]


When the bus reached its next stop, Long held on to the pole next to the student and stood in front of her at a “very close” distance. When the bus started to move, it jerked forward causing Long to jolt in her direction. As he did so, his groin rubbed against the student’s left thigh. This initial contact left him feeling aroused.[6]


To sustain his erection, Long then moved closer to the student and intentionally rubbed his groin against her thigh.[7] He continued to do so until he alighted at the fourth bus stop about four minutes later.[8] Feeling “shocked and confused”, the student realised that she had been molested. Together with a friend, the student sought assistance from a campus security officer and referred the matter to the police. Long admitted to molesting the student when he was investigated.[9]


Following the incident, a university pastoral staff had provided support to the student from the time she reported the incident until care was no longer required.[10]

Sentence hearing

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Benedict Chan presided over the court case. Long was represented by the lawyer T. M. Sinnadurai from Regent Law LLC.[11]

Prosecution's case

DPP Chan urged the court to sentence Long to no less than 14 weeks' jail. He cited a written statement from the victim that detailed the impact of the case on the student. In the statement, the victim shared that she refrains from taking the campus shuttle bus out of fear of being molested again. She also has emotional breakdowns when she recalls the incident.[12]


DPP Chan also argued that “it was an aggravating factor that the incident occurred on public transport”. He referred to police statistics showing that there had been 119 reports of outrage of modesty on public transport in the first six months of 2019. DPP Chan argued that the increasing number of molest cases should be met with tougher sentences.[13]

Defense's case

Lawyer Sinnadurai asked the court to impose a sentence of eight weeks, saying that there had not been any “skin-to-skin contact” and that his client was remorseful of his actions.[14] In his written mitigation, Sinnadurai stated that his client has “demonstrated sincere remorse” and has actively attended counselling sessions to rehabilitate himself. He has also offered compensation to the student.[15][16]


Additionally, Sinnadurai urged the court to consider that Long was a first-time offender and that the offence was not premeditated.[17]

Verdict

The court sentenced Long to 14 weeks’ jail for one count of molesting.[18] Following the sentencing, Long was out on bail of S$7,500 and is expected to begin his sentence on 24 October 2019.[19] According to an NUS spokesman, Long’s employment had been terminated since February after an internal investigation.[20]

References / Citations

  1. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  2. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  3. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on campus bus”. The Straits Times. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  4. Jalelah Abu Baker. “Former NUS senior lecturer jailed for molesting undergrad on bus”. Channel News Asia. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from channelnewsasia.com.
  5. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  6. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  7. Sun, David. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on bus”. The New Paper. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  8. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on campus bus”. The Straits Times. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  9. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on campus bus”. The Straits Times. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  10. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on campus bus”. The Straits Times. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  11. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on campus bus”. The Straits Times. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com
  12. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  13. Tang, Louisa. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting undergrad on shuttle bus”. Today. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  14. Sun, David. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on bus”. The New Paper. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg
  15. Tang, Louisa. “Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting undergrad on shuttle bus”. Today. October 17, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from todayonline.com.
  16. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  17. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  18. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.
  19. Sun, David. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for rubbing against undergrad on bus”. The New Paper. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from tnp.sg.
  20. Ng, Charmaine. “Ex-NUS lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting student”. The Straits Times. October 18, 2019. Accessed 22 October 2019. Retrieved from straitstimes.com.