Indian physiotherapist to face 11 months jail for molesting Singapore teen

Luke Degarajoo
Luke Degarajoo Luke Degarajoo/ Facebook

An 18-year-old girl in Singapore was molested by an Indian–origin physiotherapist during her treatment. The accused was sentenced to 11 months of imprisonment, including three strokes by cane.

Reports stated that the accused, Luke Manimaran Degarajoo touched the teenager inappropriately during a physiotherapy session of massage. The incident took place about a year ago at the clinic of the accused. On Wednesday, March 21, Luke was sentenced by the court.

The victim visited the clinic on March 25, 2017, at around 6.20 pm, to get treatment for her back and hip pain. The accused told her that the session will last for 15 minutes and then he allegedly directed her towards a massage bed in the therapy room.

Since the girl went to the physiotherapist with a friend, who was waiting outside the door of the therapy room, which was half closed.

Before the therapy started, Luke told the girl to remove her top and to loosen her shorts. The teen said that she'd thought that it was required for the treatment, so followed what the therapist told her. But the accused molested the girl twice and rolled down her shorts including underwear during the session.

Gail Wong, the Deputy Public Prosecutor told the court that the victim felt uncomfortable but she could not shout or call for a help because she was confused at that situation and could not figure out whether it was part of the treatment or not.

The session ended when the friend of the girl entered the room after seeing the victim nude. Later, Luke gave a report detailing his assessment of the victim's condition. At that time the teen said she was confused so she did not complain immediately.

When she shared her experience with the friend, then both went to a police station four hours later and lodged a complaint against Luke.

Now, the accused is out on S$10,000 bail, as the court allowed him to defer his sentence as he needed to settle some personal matters. Luke was asked to present in the State Court on April 20, as he has to begin his jail sentence.

Usually, if a person found guilty of "Outrage of Modesty", the convict could face a jail term of up to 2 years, or a fine, or with caning, or a combination of all the three.

Misuse of professional discretion by the medical staff is on rise in recent days. In December 2017, it turned out a nightmare for a woman in the US as a nurse clicked naked pictures of her when she was on the operation table. Later the victim sued the nurse at Washington hospital for taking the inappropriate pictures without her knowledge.

This article was first published on March 22, 2018