Ex-NUS senior lecturer jailed 14 weeks for molesting undergrad on shuttle bus

The court heard that Long Yun, 36, had lost his job after being charged with outrage of modesty and is now unemployed. — TODAY pic
The court heard that Long Yun, 36, had lost his job after being charged with outrage of modesty and is now unemployed. — TODAY pic

SINGAPORE, Oct 18 — While standing close to a 20-year-old undergraduate on a shuttle bus, Long Yun became aroused after the bus jerked forward and caused his groin to rub against the woman’s thigh.

The senior lecturer from the National University of Singapore (NUS) then rubbed himself against her for about four minutes until he alighted from the bus.

Long was sentenced to 14 weeks’ jail yesterday in a district court. The 36-year-old Chinese national and Singapore permanent resident pleaded guilty to outraging the modesty of his victim, who cannot be named due to a court order to protect her identity.

Long, who is married with a young son, worked in the chemical and biomolecular engineering department at NUS at the time. His lawyer said that he was fired after being charged and is now unemployed.

Responding to queries from TODAY, an NUS spokesperson said that Long had been dismissed in February this year following an internal investigation into the incident.

“A university pastoral staff member provided support to the female student from the time she reported the incident until care was no longer required,” the spokesperson added.

“We take a very serious view of staff misconduct, and disciplinary action will be taken against those who have breached our staff code of conduct.”

The court heard that Long and the victim boarded the shuttle bus along Lower Kent Ridge Road on January 14. It was travelling from Kent Ridge MRT Station to various locations in NUS.

As it was crowded, Long stood directly in front of the victim facing her, while holding onto the pole next to her.

He was standing “very close” to her, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Benedict Chan told the court.

As the bus moved off from the bus stop, it jerked forward and his groin rubbed against her thigh. To prolong his arousal, he shifted closer to her and molested her continuously.

She was shocked and confused after realising that he was intentionally doing this. She immediately told a friend that she had been molested, and eventually sought assistance from a campus security officer to contact the police.

Long admitted to the offence when the university began investigating him.

DPP Chan told the court that the victim described the impact of Long’s actions on her in a statement earlier this month. While still studying in NUS, she does not take the shuttle bus any more for fear of being molested. She also grows upset and has breakdowns when she recalls what happened, the prosecutor added.

Long’s lawyer, TM Sinnadurai, said in mitigation that Long had molested the victim in “a moment of folly” and has attended counselling lessons to “practise techniques to cope with his stress in a healthy manner”.

He has also offered compensation to the victim, was a first-time offender and received several awards and positive testimonials from his colleagues and friends, Sinnadurai added.

In sentencing submissions, the prosecution said that it was an aggravating factor that the incident occurred on public transport. DPP Chan referred to police statistics showing that there had been 119 reports of outrage of modesty on public transport in the first six months of this year.

For molestation, Long could have been jailed up to two years, fined, caned or any combination of the three. — TODAY

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