Ex-S'pore Idol judge Ken Lim charged with 7 sex offences involving 5 women to get 5 trials

Shaffiq Alkhatib
The Straits Times
Nov 17, 2023

Former Singapore Idol judge Ken Lim, who faces seven charges of sex offences involving five women, is expected to undergo five different trials, each involving one alleged victim.

This development came about after District Judge Wong Peck rejected the prosecution’s application for all seven charges to be handled together in one trial.

The defence had objected to the application earlier, arguing that the alleged incidents happened over many years, and it would not be fair to their client to lump them together.

Delivering her decision on Friday, the judge said there would not be practical benefits for a joint trial.

She added that she was persuaded by the defence’s arguments, noting that the women did not know one another and that the alleged offences took place over vastly different time periods.

Lim, 59, is accused of sexual offences involving five alleged victims from 1998 to 2021.

He is accused of molesting a 25-year-old woman at the Hype Records office in Henderson Road on Nov 23, 2021. The prosecution said she was then talking to him during a work interview.

He allegedly insulted the modesty of four other women.

Between 1998 and 1999, he allegedly showed a pornographic video to a female artiste under his management who was between 19 and 21 years old then.

He allegedly told her she was sexually inexperienced and he could help her.

Lim allegedly made lewd remarks to another female artiste under his management between 1999 and 2002. She was then between 18 and 20 years old.

In one instance, he purportedly asked the woman if he could be her first sex partner.

He is also accused of offering to be her sexual partner to “fulfil her sexual fantasies” on another occasion.

In July 2012, he allegedly asked a 26-year-old woman: “What if I have sex with you right now?”

The prosecution said she was at that time talking to him about a career in music.

In 2013, Lim allegedly made sexually charged remarks to a 24-year-old woman who was an artiste working with him.

According to the prosecution, he allegedly told her “that if she could have sex for nothing, why not have sex for something”. Lim allegedly unbuckled his belt then.

In their submissions, deputy public prosecutors Gail Wong and Sruthi Boppana said Lim got to know the women while he was the director of Hype Records.

The DPPs said he allegedly committed the offences within a work context against artistes or women he was then engaging.

They told Judge Wong the charges are part of a series of alleged offences of a similar nature.

They had argued that the handling of his charges in a joint trial would limit any prejudice to Lim that may be caused by multiple trials.

In its submissions, the prosecution said: “Crucially, the common thread binding the present charges together is the modus operandi adopted by the accused, showing proximity of purpose.

“From the relationship of the victims with the accused... and the location of the offences – all in the office save for (one charge) – it can be reasonably inferred that he committed the offences in his position as the director of Hype Records.”

Lim is represented by Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, Mr Paul Loy and Mr Calvin Ong. They objected to the prosecution’s application to combine the seven charges into one trial.

The lawyers stated in their submissions: “The application is a transparent attempt to colour the learned trial judge and prejudice Mr Lim by parading a chorus line of unrelated complainants, each of whom relates to entirely separate alleged incidents.”

The lawyers argued that the prosecution was trying to strengthen weak charges by colouring the perception of Lim’s character.

They said: “We submit that this is deliberate, mischievous, and highly prejudicial to Mr Lim.”

The team from Wong Partnership told the judge there was no suggestion that any of the complainants were related and/or know of one another.

They added: “The locations in which the alleged offences were supposedly committed are not consistent. Importantly, the supposed modus operandi of the offences are different; neither do the charges all arise from the same offence.”

The defence argued that the charges relating to each individual complainant span entirely distinct and separate timelines.

Lim’s pre-trial conference will take place on Dec 8.

The Straits Times

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