Victim is asked why she met accused

Counsel for academic in indecent assault case asks why woman kept meeting him alone in bars

PUBLISHED : Friday, 30 May, 2014, 4:10am
UPDATED : Friday, 30 May, 2014, 4:10am

A woman who claims a prominent academic molested her faced questions in court over why she continued to go to bars alone with him after he allegedly touched her indecently.

The woman, named in Eastern Court only as X, responded there was no way she could not go as she needed to discuss work with him.

Lee Ngok, 73, denies six charges of indecently assaulting the 39-year-old woman, a colleague at a non-profit community college, on five occasions between 2007 and 2010. He also denies two charges of indecent assault on another woman.

X earlier told the court she had been working on documents for regulators in relation to the validation of the college's associate degree programmes. Lee was advising her on the matter.

On the first occasion, in early 2007, she said Lee touched her thigh, but stopped when she leaned away. Later, he tried to kiss her and touched her bottom.

"Do you agree that you could have avoided going out alone with him?" Bruce Tse, for Lee, asked X yesterday. "You could have asked another colleague to join you."

X said Lee had asked her to go out to discuss work. The times he asked for were outside office hours and she was unable to find a colleague to accompany her. "I didn't want to go, but there was no way I could not go."

She said she had complained to the school's supervisor - the boss of the institution - but was told not to make a big fuss as the school had a lot to handle.

Asked whether she ever went out with Lee on non-work occasions, she admitted going to a Jockey Club bar with the defendant in late 2007, after the supervisor asked her to socialise.

X said Lee took her hand, against her wishes. She pulled her hand back when a song ended and Lee scratched her hand with his thumb. She told the court she had been frightened.

Tse said X gave Lee two items of clothing for his birthday in October 2007. X said the supervisor asked her to give them on his behalf.

Tse suggested X had a "private relationship" with the supervisor, who had employed her on a salary of HK$70,000 per month despite the fact she had no previous experience in the sector. She denied any such relationship.

Tse further suggested she had "pretended to be humble" in explaining her job; she actually had a lot of power and her status was like that of a boss's wife. X laughed and rejected the claim.

The hearing continues today before Magistrate So Wai-tak.