A Lieutenant-Colonel from the Republic of Singapore Air Force (RSAF) was charged in court on November 15, 2022 with trespassing into a dormitory at Nanyang Technological University (NTU) and molesting a 21-year old woman.
Based on local media reports, Lt. Col. Neo Aik Chiao,45, entered a dormitory at Nanyang Technological University (NTU). He then went into two separate rooms and touched the thigh of a 21-year old woman.
Chiao is accused of committing the offenses at around 02:00 local time on November 13, 2022.
In a statement to The Straits Times, the Ministry of Defence (Mindef) said that Neo has been suspended from all duties by the SAF.
“As court proceedings are ongoing, Mindef/SAF is unable to comment further on the case at this juncture. We will carefully assess the eventual findings before deciding on further appropriate actions,” the Mindef spokesperson said.
The spokesperson added: “The SAF holds its service personnel to high standards of discipline and integrity. Service personnel who commit offenses will be dealt with in accordance with the law. Those convicted of serious offenses may be discharged from regular service.”
Neo was charged by the State Courts of Singapore with two counts of criminal trespass and one count of molestation.
Due to a gag order, details about the women or the dormitory cannot be disclosed.
Meanwhile, NTU told The Straits Times that keeping its students safe is top priority and that it takes trespassing “very seriously”.
“The police were immediately called to the scene, and the university provided support to the affected students when the incident happened. Security patrols have been stepped up,” the NTU spokesperson said.
A 2008 article found by a local online forum showed that Neo had served in the Singaporean Army and Navy, and had flown helicopters, including the CH-27 Chinook.
If found guilty of molestation, Neo could face a jail sentence of up to two years, be fined, caned or receive a combination of the three punishments. Caning is a widely used form of corporal punishment in Singapore.
If found guilty of each count of criminal trespassing, Neo could be jailed for up to three months and fined up to $ 1,500 SGD ($1,080).
Neo’s case has been adjourned to November 29, 2022.