Singapore: A Singapore court on Friday sentenced a Saudi Arabian diplomat to 26 months and one week in jail and four strokes of cane for twice molesting a young hotel intern and using criminal force on her.
Bander Yahya A Alzahran, a father of three, was on a holiday here with his family when the offences were committed at a hotel on the Sentosa resort island in August last year.
The 39-year-old, who is attached to the Saudi Arabia Embassy in Beijing, is appealing against his conviction and sentence, The Straits Times reported.
Alzahran was found guilty on Wednesday after an eight-day trial of kissing the 20-year-old on her neck and hugging her while wrongfully restraining her inside the hotel room.
He was also found guilty of kissing the victim's neck a second time, touching her improperly and forcing her to touch him in return.
District Judge Lee Poh Choo had found him "unusually convincing".
She rejected the defence assertion that the whole incident was a set-up and that the victim conspired with other staff to level false allegations against Alzahrani to extort money from him.
The victim had been reluctant to divulge anything as she was "confused" and did not know what to do. She had said to a colleague, who had noticed the victim's distress and unusual behaviour, that the guest had told her this was a "top secret" between them.
Cajoled for hours by her colleagues, the victim eventually told and demonstrated her version of events to various persons, including the front office manager and a security executive, at different times that day.
The maximum penalty for aggravated molestation is between two and 10 years in addition to caning on each charge. For using criminal force, the maximum penalty is three months' jail and a Singapore dollar 1,500 fine....