• A maritime boarding officer molested a Filipina homecare nurse in Singapore
  • The incidents happened in 2014 when the nurse began taking care of the man’s mother
  • The suspect was sentenced to a year in jail and three cane strokes

SINGAPORE – A maritime boarding officer has been found guilty and sentenced by the High Court to a year in jail and three cane strokes for molesting a Filipina homecare nurse who was taking care of his mother.

According to an article published by The Independent, the victim claimed that the offender, Balakrishnan Kuppusamy, started sending her inappropriate text messages just a day after she started working at the man’s family flat at Bukit Purmei in January 2014.

After four days, Balakrishnan kissed the back of her neck while they were together inside the elevator. The next day, he touched her breast while she was helping his mother to her room and later in the afternoon, he slapped her buttocks.

At first, the nurse was hesitant to report the incidents because she feared that she might lose her job. However, after she received an offensive message from Balakrishnan, which made her feel “degraded”, she reported what happened to her superiors and filed a police report.

In November 2015, Balakrishnan was acquitted of rubbing the nurse’s chest and he was sentenced by a district court to two months in jail for kissing the victim’s neck and a $5,000 fine for tapping her buttock.

The prosecution appealed the court’s decision of the acquittal while Balakrishnan appealed against his conviction on the two charges.

Balakrishnan said he did not kiss the nurse’s neck but he just touched it with his fingers while making kissing sounds. In addition, he said he had “poked” the nurse’s chest because he was irritated with her for speaking in ‘Tagalog’ and that he only ‘tapped’ the back of her waist to get her attention because she was blocking his way to the toilet.

According to an article published by Filipino Times, Judge of Appeal Tay Yong Kwang said Balakrishnan’s statement in court is different than his previous police statement, in which he had denied physical contact except tapping the nurse’s arm to get her attention.

He said that Balakrishnan’s “flirtatious and sometimes crude” messages to the nurse showed his lewd intentions towards her.