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TV Aiyar faces cane and jail for molestation

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By The Telegraph Online
  • Published 7.01.04

Singapore, Jan. 6 (Reuters): A former television presenter in Singapore was sentenced to 16 months jail and four strokes of the cane today for molesting a 30-year-old female colleague he took home from a party, according to court documents.

In a trial that attracted huge media coverage in the straight-laced city state, Vidya Shankar Aiyar, 37, who had worked for state-owned ChannelNews Asia television, was convicted last year on two charges of outrage of modesty.

District judge Victor Yeo said it was a case of where a completely sober man took advantage of a drunken colleague at a housewarming party.

During the trial, the court heard the woman had left the party in a drunken state and Aiyar had offered to take her home. She woke up the next day naked in Aiyar’s bed.

The court was told that Aiyar had helped her out of her clothes, including her underwear, and while she was getting dressed in the morning, had molested her.

Yeo described Aiyar as a “hunting wolf in sheep’s clothing” at the end of the trial in December. Each of two molest charges carried a penalty of up to two years in prison or a fine or caning, or two of the punishments.

Singapore, where prostitution is legal but oral sex is not, put a 27-year-old police sergeant in jail for two years for receiving oral sex in November last year. The public generally supports Singapore’s tough laws — including the death penalty for drug smugglers, bans on pornography and curbs on political dissent — as part of a social contract that in return has delivered years of economic prosperity.