SINGAPORE — After seeing a woman emerge from a toilet at his place of residence, a Vietnamese chef was overcome with "sexual urge".
Le Huy Nam pushed the domestic helper back into the toilet and molested her.
Le, 31, only stopped after the victim’s roommates knocked on the door, concerned that their friend had been gone for so long.
The married man pleaded guilty on Thursday (25 February) to molesting the 27-year-old Burmese woman while wrongfully restraining her, with one count of attempted sexual penetration to be taken into consideration for sentencing.
The victim, who cannot be named due to a court gag order, came to Singapore on 16 December 2019 in the hopes of getting employment as a maid. She moved into a lodging house where she resided in a room with other individuals.
Le, who worked as a restaurant chef, had been residing in the same lodging house from 30 September 2019. He had never met the victim before the offence.
Only stopped when roommates knocked on door
On 23 December 2019, at around 2am, the woman went to use the common toilet at the service yard next to the kitchen. As she opened the door to leave, Le, who had been waiting outside, pushed her back in and closed the door behind him. He pulled the toilet cover down and pushed the victim onto the seat.
Even as the victim pleaded with him “not to do (it)” in broken English, clasping her hands in a pleading gesture, the man groped her under her shirt forcefully. He told investigators that he had been overcome with a “sexual urge” upon seeing the victim.
Le then exposed his penis and attempted to sexually assault the woman. He forced the woman to masturbate him with her hand for some five minutes. Le tried to pull the woman’s pants down but she resisted. He held the woman down throughout her ordeal to prevent her from escaping.
Le stopped when the victim’s roommates knocked on the toilet. They had been concerned about her absence and had heard crying as they approached the toilet.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Rebecca Wong sought four-and-a-half years' jail with six strokes of the cane for Le, saying that had the victim’s friends not intervened, Le might have been successful in his criminal endeavour.
Le’s lawyer, Dennis Saw submitted for a jail term of three years. He said Le left his wife and two children, aged eight and five, in Vietnam when he came to work in Singapore.
Then the sole breadwinner of his family, Le took up a loan of $15,000 to come to Singapore and still owes the sum, together with the interest accrued.
“(My client) doesn’t know (his family’s) financial situation right now because he is not able to keep in touch with them,” said Saw.
He misses them and is really regretful for his actions and wants to see them as soon as possible... he is very worried and concerned for his family,” he added.
Le’s sentencing has been adjourned to 3 March.
For molesting a person under wrongful restraint, Le may be jailed between two and 10 years, with caning.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore
More Singapore stories: