A 25-year-old Nanyang Technological University (NTU) graduate student has been arrested by the police on Saturday for allegedly molesting a teenager when he took part in what he thought was a research project.
The police said that the Singaporean man was arrested for outrage of modesty based on a report lodged by the 17-year-old victim. Channel NewsAsia reported that the incident took place last year in November.
Nanyang Chronicle, the university's student-run campus newspaper, reported that the victim said he responded to an online advertisement on Gumtree calling for participants to be part of a "body stimulation" research project, which asked only for male particpants.
The participants were promised payment of up to S$25 an hour and those who were under 16 years old were promised an additional S$10 per session.
According to the 17-year-old victim, the graduate student took him to his dormitory on Nov 13 and instructed him to "shower and come out naked". Then he was reportedly blindfolded, restrained to a bed with a cloth and molested. The report was filed the next day by the victim.
Nanyang Chronicle article reported that the teenager had agreed to the man's requests as he was afraid. The man was described as "a big guy".
However, on Saturday, an NTU spokesperson said that the university had not approved any such research project. "There is no such scientific or scholarly research project that has been undertaken. Any research involving human participants must be submitted to the Institutional Review Board for review and approval," the spokesperson told Channel NewsAsia. He further added that NTU takes campus security and safety seriously.
"The university views academic and research misconduct as serious disciplinary offences. We are aware that the police are investigating this case and we are assisting them in their investigations," the spokesperson said.
Meanwhile, the graduate student has denied involvement with the online ads.