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The Straits Times
Sep 29, 2020
A 24-year-old entrepreneur went on trial on Tuesday (Sept 29) for molesting and sexually assaulting his younger sister's friend, who was staying over at their family flat after a night of drinking to celebrate Christmas.
Norvan Tan En Jie was 21 years old when he allegedly committed the offences against the woman, then 19, in the early hours of Dec 26, 2016.
He is contesting four charges - two for sexual assault by penetration and two for outrage of modesty - for various sexual acts against the woman.
The woman, now 23, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect her identity.
Tan was described by lifestyle site Vulcan Post as a "serial entrepreneur" who had dabbled in five different businesses by the time he was 21.
In 2018, he co-founded Beef Bro, a food business specialising in halal blow-torched beef cubes, which currently has three outlets.
The court heard that the woman was a primary school classmate of Tan's sister, and the two women had met friends for drinks on the evening of Christmas Day in 2016.
When the two women arrived at Tan's flat at about 5.40am, he was in his room with two of his friends after a night of drinking.
After helping the alleged victim to the toilet, Tan's sister asked him to leave his room so that she could speak to one of his friends.
According to prosecutors, Tan carried the woman out of the toilet and placed her on the living room sofa, but she made her way back to the toilet to vomit.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen said Tan then carried the woman to his sister's room, placed her on the bed, touched her breast and inserted his finger into her.
When the woman ran back to the kitchen toilet to throw up once more, she felt someone pulling down her shorts and underwear.
The DPP said the woman recognised Tan's voice and put up a struggle, but he eventually sodomised her and left her in the toilet.
Some time later, Tan's sister returned to the toilet and brought the woman back to her room.
The woman contacted various friends after the incident and told them she was confused about what had happened to her and and shared her suspicions that Tan had sexually assaulted her.
She also texted Tan's sister, who revealed that he admitted to having "fingered" the alleged victim.
She made a police report on the night of Dec 27, 2016.
A forensic analysis showed that Tan's semen was found on the exterior of the woman's T-shirt, and her DNA was found on his underwear.
The prosecution will lead psychiatric evidence to show that she was physically impaired at the time of the sexual assault due to acute alcohol intoxication, and that affected her ability to give consent.
Tan is represented by Mr Amarjit Singh Sidhu.