Acquittal of Outrage of Modesty/ Molest Offences


16 August 2021

Public shaming of an accused person of sex crimes that was not committed

1. Background

Dr Yeo Sow Nam is an anaesthetist and director of The Pain Specialist at Mount Elizabeth Hospital.

Earlier this year, Dr Yeo was charged with four counts of allegedly molesting a woman whom he had interacted with in the course of his practice as a doctor. He was accused of hugging her, squeezing her waist, gripping her breasts and kissing her head on 9 October 2017 at his clinic.

The complainant was not a patient, an employee of his clinic or any medical institution, or a fellow medical practitioner.

Dr Yeo’s trial was heard across five days from 1st to 5th March 2021 at the State Courts.

2. A self-confessed perjurer

The complainant is not an “unproven victim” by operation of the legal presumption of innocence, but rather is a self-confessed perjurer who has admitted to lying in court about material elements of her allegations against Dr Yeo.

During the 5-day trial, the complainant confessed to knowingly lying to the court about material aspects of her allegations. She also behaved flippantly by laughing on multiple occasions while giving testimony.

3. Granted Discharge Amounting to an Acquittal (“DATA”) for all four charges

Eugene Thuraisingam, Chooi Jing Yen, and Johannes Hadi acted for Dr Yeo Sow Nam, who was wrongfully accused of four counts of molest. The Prosecution applied for a DATA in respect of all four charges against Dr Yeo after considering the evidence as well as our representations. Upon the prosecution’s application, District Judge Ng Peng Hong granted Dr Yeo a discharge amounting to an acquittal.

4. Conclusion

At the conclusion of the hearing today, Dr Yeo said in his public statement:

I am glad that truth has prevailed today. However, I am also disappointed that with her lies, the complainant has jeopardised the good, necessary, and difficult work of ensuring access to justice for real victims of sex crimes, many of whom already hesitate to accuse their attackers publicly. I hope that today’s verdict does not discourage real victims of sex crimes from coming forward, or set back the moral agenda in their favour.

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