Beef Bro Co-Founder Gets Jail & Caning For Sexually Assaulting Sister’s Friend
Grievous criminal offences carry with them severe penalties, which none of us is exempt from — not even founders of famous restaurants.
On Friday (5 Aug), the co-founder of popular halal eatery Beef Bro, Norvan Tan En Jie, was found guilty of four charges of sexual assault and molestation.
As a result, he has received a jail sentence of 9 years and 10 months, in addition to eight strokes of the cane.
He now intends to appeal against both the convictions and the sentence.
Beef Bro co-founder sexually assaults sister’s friend
According to Channel NewsAsia (CNA), the 27-year-old contested two counts of sexual assault by penetration and another two charges of outrage of modesty.
The High Court thus sentenced him to nine years, nine months and four weeks’ jail in addition to eight strokes of the cane on 5 Aug.
The incident occurred on the morning of 26 Dec 2016. The identity of the victim, who was 19 at the time, is protected under a gag order.
She was Tan’s sister’s friend and the two women had returned to a shared flat after a night of drinking. At around the same time, Tan also returned to the same area with two friends.
Tan then sexually assaulted the victim in three separate sections of the flat while his sister was conversing with one of his friends in his room.
Justice Ang Cheng Hock states the areas as follows — the living room, his sister’s bed, and the toilet.
The victim recognised that Tan was her assaulter based on his voice and build, he added previously. Semen found on the back of the victim’s shirt also matched Tan’s DNA.
The co-founder’s sister was testifying as a prosecution witness at the trial. However, she later tried to retract statements made in texts to the victim and police statements.
Prosecution seeks longer jail time
TODAY reports that the prosecution for the case sought a longer jail sentence of 10 years and five months.
They argued that the victim was vulnerable considering the extent of her inebriation at the time. She had vomited repeatedly, could not change out of her own clothes or talk, and fell twice while Tan was helping her out of the toilet.
As such, she could not have resisted Tan’s advances verbally or physically. She had also closed her eyes when they felt heavy, only opening them when Tan touched her chest.
In addition to exploiting her vulnerability, Tan also did not use a condom during his assault. This was an aggravating factor in the case, as it exposed the victim to sexually transmitted diseases.
Judge dismisses testimonials describing Tan as kind-hearted
In defence, Tan’s lawyer Amarit Singh submitted to the High Court letters from Tan’s family and Tan himself, describing Tan as a ‘kind-hearted’ and ‘aspiring’ entrepreneur. However, Justice Ang noted that these testimonials are not mitigating factors for the court during sentencing.
Justice Ang also agreed with prosecutors that the victim’s intoxicated state and Tan’s failure to wear a condom should lead to a more serious penalty.
He increased the bail amount to S$95,000 from S$75,000 after the prosecution applied for a higher level, given his sentencing and his occupation.
However, the judge turned down a request to e-tag Tan to prevent him from fleeing the country, as Mr Singh pointed out that his passport was already impounded.
Hope victim receives closure after incident
Even as an accomplished individual, Tan is still guilty of committing a grievous crime that has traumatised his victim.
As such, he has received an appropriately heavy punishment to fit the severity of his offence.
Hopefully with this verdict, the victim will receive some form of closure for her ordeal.
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Featured image adapted from LinkedIn and MS News.
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