SOURCE: The Straits Times
SYDNEY – A Singaporean naval officer attending the Australian Defence Force Academy (ADFA) who was charged with committing indecent acts on a female cadet will go on trial in Canberra.
Lieutenant Benedict Ang Yong Chuean, a 21-year-old in the Republic of Singapore Navy (RSN), who was arrested in May, faces two allegations of committing acts of indecency on the female cadet without her consent, Australian papers said.
Ang maintained his pleas of “not guilty” in the Australian Capital Territory Magistrates Court on Wednesday.
Chief Magistrate Lorraine Walker said she was satisfied, based on a document summarising the case against Ang, there was enough evidence to justify putting the allegations before a jury, according to a report in the Sydney Morning Herald.
Ang has been accused of entering the cadet’s room at the military school in the early hours of May 6 and allegedly committing the acts – rubbing her back, shoulders, neck and sides and touching her breast. The cadet reportedly asked Ang to leave but he held her jaw in a “pistol grip” so she could not move her head,The Age newspaper said.
Police said he tried to force his tongue into her mouth. Reports said the cadet did not scream because the nearby rooms were empty. According to them, she fell asleep thinking that Ang would leave. But she woke up to find otherwise. Later she confided in other cadets, who confronted Ang.
Ang joined the RSN in July 2010. He excelled in the military and was also the holder of a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) scholarship. The military college has suspended him from attending classes and training, pending the outcome of the case.
The accused’s lawyer John Harris was quoted by the Sydney Morning Herald as saying his client was currently studying at the University of New South Wales in Sydney.
Ang declined to call any evidence at the brief committal proceeding, as was his right, and will have his first day in the territory’s higher court later this month, the newspaper said.
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