SINGAPORE — An owner of a massage parlour at JCube was accused of molesting a female patron while massaging her.
Ran Wei Dong, 35, who is also a masseur at Kang Foot Wellness, is accused of one charge of molesting the then-22-year-old woman, who went to the outlet at the mall in Jurong for a foot massage on 3 May 2019.
He claimed trial on Monday (25 January) to one count of touching the woman’s genital area with his fingers. Due to a gag order imposed by the court, the woman, who works in the law industry, cannot be named.
The alleged victim testified on the first day of the trial that she went to the outlet on the recommendation of a friend. She wanted a foot massage following an injury on her ankle from a Muay Thai session.
She allegedly met Ran, who asked her to change into a pair of shorts. He was the only one present in the outlet at the time.
The victim was then sat on a massage chair and Ran started massaging her. Ran allegedly massaged her legs, up to her upper thigh.
After the foot massage ended, the victim recalled Ran told her that her waist area was affecting her ankle. He then asked if she needed him to press her waist.
“Then I asked him, I thought my session was up. Then he said there isn’t anymore customers for today so he can do more for me,” the woman recalled.
She agreed to his offer, thinking that Ran was “being nice”. Ran allegedly led the woman to a massage bed within a curtained area where she was directed to lie face down.
Ran began massaging the woman’s left leg and towards her thighs. At one point, he allegedly rolled up her shorts to reveal the lower half of her left buttock.
The woman testified emotionally, “Then his hands went in like circular motions...I just kept feeling like his fingers were trying to get into my panties.
“At that point in time I kept fidgeting because I felt very uncomfortable and I really did not know what he was trying to do,” she added.
The woman told Ran “enough” in Mandarin. Ran then moved on to massage the woman’s right leg and also rolled up her shorts.
“His hands were just going in circular motions. He was just trying to put his fingers into my panties again and then I kept fidgeting, kept moving away from the fingers,” the woman testified.
Asked by the prosecution whether the incident could have been an accident, the woman replied, “no definitely not”.
“I kept trying to stop him and I kept fidgeting, obviously I felt very uncomfortable but he kept going,” she said. The woman said she told Ran “enough”, and the man moved on to her waist area, rolling down the waistband of her shorts to massage her waist area.
The woman said this phase of the massage lasted “just for a while” because she kept repeating “enough” and telling him that she was no longer in pain.
After the session concluded, Ran allegedly asked the woman to lie down sideways facing him so that he could crack her bones. This was when the woman noticed that Ran’s penis was erect beneath his pants.
“I could tell it was an erected (penis) but I told myself to confirm again when I go out and where there is light,” she said.
“I was shocked...it just made me feel like he touched me for his own pleasure.”
After that, Ran allegedly gave the woman a brief shoulder massage before she paid and left.
That night, the woman told two male friends about what had happened. She also confided in the female friend who had recommended the massage parlour to her.
The next day, the woman went with one of her male friends to her regular massage outlet to talk to a female masseuse. The latter was asked if a male masseur was allowed to massage above a customer’s knee cap during a leg massage and she replied no.
The male friend then confronted Ran at his JCube outlet, while the woman waited outside the mall. Recounting the exchange to her, the friend said Ran allegedly repeatedly asked the woman to come to his outlet so that he could apologise to her for “whatever he has done”.
Asked about Ran’s physical reaction by the male friend, the woman said, “(Ran allegedly replied), ‘The room is very hot’ and ...‘you need to know your girlfriend is very pretty’, like he was trying to make (my friend) understand why he did what he did.”
During cross examination of the alleged victim, Ran’s lawyer Terence Tan argued that there was no molest as seen from the woman’s alleged lack of reaction, and from the audio of CCTV footage, which captured the massage chair area of the outlet.
The lawyer suggested that if his client had touched the woman inappropriately, she would “have been so angered or shocked that (she) would stop the massage or scolded him or walked out of the place”.
The woman disagreed with him.
Tan said to the woman, “Being somebody who is a trained (legal officer)...you would know that if a male therapist were to put his finger into your panties to touch your (private area) without your consent, it would be absolutely wrong.”
She replied, “First of all being a trained (legal officer) doesn’t mean that I could control or I should know how to handle it better than any other girl if (she) was put in this situation.”
Tan also played CCTV footage capturing the area outside the massage room which included a muffled conversation between the woman and Ran, and laughter from Ran. The timestamps of the clips were between 10pm and 10.40pm on the night of the incident.
Based on the audio, there was nothing to suggest any inappropriate touching, argued the lawyer.
Tan replied, “Based on the two video footage we have seen so far of 20 minutes-plus, it does not suggest anything untoward had happened during second part of your massage,” to which the woman agreed.
Tan then said, “I therefore put it to you that your evidence given in (the morning) that the accused massaged your left ankle all the way up your left leg and inserted his fingers into your panties to (molest you) is not true.” The woman disagreed.
The trial continues on Tuesday.
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