An Indian-origin physiotherapist was sentenced to 11 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane for molesting a teenage girl patient during treatment.
Luke Manimaran Degarajoo, 43, had touched the 18-year old inappropriately during a physiotherapy session massage at his clinic about a year ago. He was sentenced Wednesday.
The teen victim had turned up at the clinic on March 25 last year at 6.20 p.m. (local time) seeking treatment for back and hip pain, according to a report by The Straits Times.
Luke told her the session would last 15 minutes and directed her to a massage bed in a therapy room. Meanwhile, the victim’s friend waited outside and the door to the room was left half shut. When the massage started, the teenager was fully clothed. But then Luke told her to remove her top and loosen her shorts. The victim complied as she thought it was part of the treatment. While massaging her, Luke molested her twice after rolling down her underwear and shorts.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said, “The victim felt uncomfortable by the contact but did not shout or ask for help as she was unsure if it was part of the treatment or not.”
The massage ended when the victim heard Luke speaking to her friend who had glanced into the room and was surprised to find her in the nude. When confronted, Luke claimed the victim needed a deep massage. After the session ended, he gave her a report detailing his assessment of her condition. She did not complain initially as she was not sure whether the way he touched her was part of the treatment.
The teenager told her friend about her ordeal when they left the clinic at around 7.40 pm (local time) before lodging a police report about four hours later.
Luke is out on SGD 10,000 bail after the court granted his request to defer his sentence as he had to settle some personal matters. He will surrender himself at the State Courts on April 20 to begin serving his sentence, according to The Straits Times report.
For outraging the girl’s modesty, Luke could have been jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.