SINGAPORE: A patient who went to a private clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital for an endoscopy was shocked to wake up to a man molesting him twice while recovering from a procedure that he was sedated for.
The second time it happened, the man felt his hospital gown being lifted up to his chest area in the dark room followed by a flashlight that appeared to be coming from a phone camera.
The patient asked “what are you doing?”. The person in the room with him – whose face he could not make out but who was clad in a white top and dark bottoms – responded by calling the patient’s name and asking if his stomach was OK, before leaving.
After the 26-year-old patient called for help, he was purportedly told to keep it “on the low” by his doctor, while a nurse was said to have asked him if he was sure it was the accused’s phone.
The patient testified about his ordeal on Monday (Feb 22) at the opening of the trial against clinic nurse manager Ivan Lee Yi Wang, 31.
Lee is contesting two charges of using criminal force on the patient to outrage his modesty in the recovery ward of a private clinic at Mount Elizabeth Novena Hospital on Oct 31, 2018. CNA is not naming the clinic to protect the identity of the patient.
The patient, who works in a marketing-related role, took the stand for the prosecution and recounted how he was referred to the clinic by a general practitioner for stomach pain.
He first met Lee when Lee registered him at the clinic, and later received a WhatsApp from Lee’s personal number about a follow-up appointment. Thinking it was “strange” as he felt clinic staff do not usually contact patients directly, the patient contacted the clinic separately to arrange for the appointment.
On the day of the endoscopy – the patient received a briefing on the procedure by Lee, before changing into only a hospital gown. He was sedated for the procedure – which involves the insertion of a tube into the digestive tract – and later placed in a recovery ward.
The patient testified that he was woken up by a sensation of something stroking his private parts multiple times. There was a “grip” like a hand around his penis, he said.
“I saw a flashlight that seems to be coming from a phone. The stroking continued until I made a stir to lie on my back, and then the stroking stopped,” said the patient, who had been lying slightly on his right before this.
“I did not see the face but I saw he was dressed in white and (with) black trousers. Judging from the silhouette and the body shape, I could tell it was a male,” he said.
“I think I was in shock and I just wanted it to stop and (I could) continue to rest.”
SHOCKED, DID NOT CALL FOR NURSE IMMEDIATELY
He said he was wondering what happened and was in a bit of a shock, so he did not immediately call for a nurse. He suspected it was the accused, whom he had seen dressed in a white top and black pants before he was wheeled away for the procedure.
After some time, the person returned and lifted his gown to his chest area, said the patient.
“I could feel a sudden gush of cold air. My body was quite cold also and the stroking continued also with a flashlight when I woke up to it,” he said. “I asked – ‘what are you doing’.”
He explained that it had “got to a point where it was just too shocking that I had to put a stop to it”.
“It just didn’t feel right that I was woken up again by someone stroking my penis,” he said
The person in the room stopped the stroking and moved his hand to the patient’s stomach. He asked: “(Patient’s name), is your stomach OK?”
The voice was “certainly” that of a man’s, said the patient, adding that Lee had referred to him by his name in his WhatsApp messages.
After this, the person left the room and the patient pressed the call button for a nurse, fearing that Lee would return to the room. Three nurses eventually came in and he told them what happened.
DOCTOR PURPORTEDLY ASKED HIM TO KEEP IT “ON THE LOW”
He said he “knew” it was Lee and showed the nurses the WhatsApp message he had sent him, and said he had seen Lee dressed in white and black. Soon, the doctor entered the room.
“(The doctor) told me it’s up to me if I want to make a police report, but he said this sort of issue should keep it on the low,” said the patient. “It felt like he was just trying to protect himself and his clinic.”
He was reassigned another nurse, who showed the patient Lee’s phone gallery.
“She said there’s nothing here. She said – are you sure it’s his phone, we are quite busy today and we have no time to use phone or take pictures. She said – ‘are you sure it was a flashlight, maybe the flashlight was from the BP (blood pressure) machine’,” said the patient.
“I felt accused and I asked her if she’s trying to accuse me of saying something that didn’t happen, and I also noted down that it couldn’t be from the BP machine because the machine was at the same level as my head.”
After this, he told two security guards what happened and he believed they called the police, who subsequently arrived at the scene.
Lee is represented by a team of lawyers led by Mr Peter Low. If found guilty of molestation, Lee could be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or given any combination of these penalties per charge.