SINGAPORE — Two men claimed trial on Monday (2 August) to molesting a male Grab driver who was sending them home after a night of drinking.
Goh Suet Hong, 39, and Neo Wei Meng, 40, who are friends, each face one charge of molesting the 32-year-old male Grab driver on 12 November 2018 between 1.18am and 3.03am, while they were on the way to their respective homes.
Goh, who is a Malaysian and Singapore permanent resident, and works as a hairdresser here, is accused of touching the alleged victim’s thigh, kissing his left cheek and left side of the lip, and rubbing the alleged victim’s groin over his pants while the car was proceeding along the Central Expressway.
Neo, a Singaporean freelance interior designer, is said to have touched the alleged victim’s nipples under his shirt and rubbed his groin directly with his hand, while the car was travelling along the Central Expressway.
The victim cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect his identity. Both accused men are represented by lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya.
Alleged victim went to the police
According to court documents, both men had gone to meet a third friend for drinks at a bar along Neil Road at about 10pm on 11 November 2018.
After a night of drinking, Neo made a Grab booking with two drop-off locations. The first location was his home, while the second was Goh’s residence. The two intended to pay by cash.
On 12 November 2018, the alleged victim, who was assigned by the Grab system for the booking, picked up both men along Neil Road. The two men sat on the rear passenger seats.
After Neo was dropped off, Goh moved to the front passenger seat next to the alleged victim. Upon reaching the second destination, Goh instructed the driver to enter a multi-storey carpark. Goh then alighted and asked the driver to wait for him while he relieved himself. Instead, the alleged victim drove away.
At about 3.03am, the driver then lodged a police report about being molested. He handed over Goh’s belongings, which had been left in his car, to the police. These consist of a bag, an iPhone, Goh’s NRIC, and his Malaysian driving license, among other valuables.
Goh and Neo were arrested on 14 November 2018.
A police officer who recorded Goh's statement testified on Monday that he had sent a screening request through to Grab to identify the two accused men through their particulars before calling them down to have their statements taken.
He also interviewed and recorded Goh's statement with the help of a colleague, who assisted with the Mandarin interpretation of the statement. The police officer who helped with the statement also testified on Monday morning.
The trial continues on Monday afternoon with the victim testifying in-camera.
If convicted of molest, each man can be jailed for up to two years, or fined, or caned, or any combination of the punishments.
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