SINGAPORE — An owner of a massage parlour at JCube was jailed for one year and two months on Tuesday (13 July) after he was convicted of molesting a female patron while massaging her.
Ran Wei Dong, 35, who is also a masseur at Kang Foot Wellness, was also given three strokes of the cane.
Ran was convicted after trial of a single charge of molesting the then-22-year-old woman, who went to the outlet at the mall in Jurong for a 40-minute foot massage on 3 May 2019. Ran said through his lawyer that he will be filing an appeal.
He was found guilty by District Judge Christopher Goh of one count of touching the woman’s genital area with his fingers. Due to a gag order imposed by the court, the woman, who works in the law industry, cannot be named.
The alleged victim previously testified on the first day of the trial that she went to the outlet on the recommendation of a friend. She wanted a foot massage following an injury on her ankle from a Muay Thai session. Ran massaged the woman's legs at a massage chair until 9.55pm.
He then directed the victim to lie face down on a massage bed and drew the curtains. He "brazenly rolled up the left pant leg of her shorts to expose her left buttock and stroked her (genitals)", the prosecution said.
After trying to fidget away, the victim said "enough" and Ran proceeded to roll up her right pant leg to expose her right buttock. He then molested her in the same manner.
That night, the woman told three friends about what had happened. The next day, the woman went with one of her male friends to her regular massage outlet to talk to a female masseuse. The latter was asked if a male masseur was allowed to massage above a customer’s knee cap during a leg massage and she replied no.
The male friend then confronted Ran at his JCube outlet, while the woman waited outside the mall. Recounting the exchange to her, the friend said Ran allegedly repeatedly asked the woman to come to his outlet so that he could apologise to her for “whatever he has done”.
On 23 June last year, one of the victim's friends met Ran at Ran's request. Ran asked the friend to ask the victim to discontinue the criminal proceedings against him and stated that he would seek the victim’s forgiveness and offered to compensate her for the incident. The friend simply said that if he had done something wrong, he should plead guilty and be sorry.
Ran did not deny committing the offence then, according to the prosecution.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Jeremy Bin sought 16 months' jail and three strokes of the cane, citing multiple aggravating factors, such as how Ran had been persistent and protracted in the molest. Ran had also abused his position of trust.
Significant harm was caused to the victim, who now fears patronising massage areas. She also finds it difficult to interact with clients who face molest charges in the course of her work at her law firm.
Ran has an outstanding molest charge that has yet to be dealt with. He will return to court on 10 August for a pre-trial conference.
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