Lawyer fined for molesting women at bar

  • Singapore
  • Friday, 22 Nov 2019

SINGAPORE: A managing partner of a law firm who molested three women while drunk in a bar and then swore at the manager who was trying to eject him has been fined S$15,000 (RM45,831).

Devandran Karunakaran, 40, of law firm Ince Singapore, also threatened to get the bar manager fired.

The Singaporean pleaded guilty to the offences, which occurred on May 16 last year.

The court heard on Tuesday that Karunakaran was drinking at a bar with two clients when he walked towards the first woman, identified as H, 48, who works in sales.

He stood behind her and stroked her back and waist up and down with both hands.

The woman swerved to the right and shouted at Karunakaran not to touch her.

Karunakaran, who was drunk, muttered incoherently, walked away and headed to the bar’s upper level, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tan Yen Seow.

About half an hour later, he approached two other women near a makeshift DJ stand on this level.

P, 28, had started work as a guest DJ at the bar at about 9pm, while her friend, K, 30, who worked in the marketing division of a nightclub, had accompanied her.

Karunakaran stood in between both of them, placed one arm on P’s shoulder and the other arm behind K’s back and on her waist.

P tried to shrug off Karunakaran’s arm but he moved his hand from her shoulder down to her left waist.

P then leaned away, pushed Karunakaran’s arm from her waist, removed her headset and walked away.

At the same time, Karunakaran was stroking K, moving his hand from her right waist to her buttock.

K said she felt shocked and violated and immediately took a step away from Karunakaran.

K then gestured to a 31-year-old bar employee who had witnessed the incidents and asked him for help.

The employee told Karunakaran to leave the DJ stand but the lawyer ignored him, turned to K and tried to pull her towards him and engage her in a conversation.

K pushed Karunakaran, who was then escorted from the DJ stand by the employee.

When the bar manager later confronted him, Karunakaran hurled vulgarities and refused to leave the premises.

Karunakaran also asked the bar manager if he knew who he was dealing with and threatened to make him lose his job.

The manager, sensing that the matter might escalate, escorted Karunakaran out of the bar with the help of a security officer.

Even after leaving the premises, Karunakaran continued to direct a stream of abuse at the manager.

The security officer called the police and Karunakaran was arrested at about 2am the next day. — The Straits Times/ANN

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