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'I owe it to myself and all the other girls': One of Ken Lim's alleged victims comes forward after 11 years

'I owe it to myself and all the other girls': One of Ken Lim's alleged victims comes forward after 11 years
Former Singapore Idol judge Ken Lim arriving at State Courts on May 6.
PHOTO: The Straits Times

SINGAPORE — It was in a record label office in 2012 that former Singapore Idol judge Ken Lim allegedly asked a singer-songwriter if she was a virgin, and what would happen if he had sex with her right then.

Unaware that this was a crime, the woman kept silent for more than a decade.

But, after she was made aware that Lim had been charged over similar offences, she decided to come forward and report the matter to the police.

On May 6, the singer-songwriter took the stand in a trial against Lim.

Lim, who is facing six counts of insulting a woman's modesty and one count of molestation, is expected to undergo five different trials, each involving one of his five alleged victims.

There is a gag order in place to protect the victims' identities.

In her opening statement on May 6, Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong said the victim who took the stand that day had met Lim twice in his office in 2012 after being introduced by a mutual contact.

Lim was the executive director of record label Hype Records at that time.

DPP Wong said the victim had already released her first music album by the time she met Lim, and she had gone to him for music career advice.

Thirteen days after the second meeting, the prosecutor said, Lim asked the victim how she was doing and if she was still traumatised.

"We will show that he was referring to his last meeting with the victim where he had uttered the words 'are you a virgin' and 'what if I have sex with you right now' in the office carpark," said DPP Wong.

She added that the victim had told her then boyfriend and present husband, as well as her father and sister, what Lim had said to her after the meeting.

Lim last communicated with her in January 2013, when he told her about a new talent show she should consider, DPP Wong said.

She added: "Around this period, she told her voice coach that Ken Lim was dodgy, and also told her drummer Ken Lim was sleazy to her, as they will testify."

DPP Wong said the victim was relieved that she had not been molested and did not report the matter. She had not known that uttering sexually inappropriate words is a crime.

The prosecutor said that, without help from Lim, the victim released a second album, started her own music school and wrote other songs.

She said that it was only in June 2023, when she saw a news article on Lim's charges over saying sexually insulting words to other women, that she realised what he had said to her was a crime, and she lodged a police report that same day.

DPP Wong said the victim had flown in from London, where she is now based, "to give evidence because, in her words to her sister: 'Maybe I owe it to myself and all the other girls... now that I am older and wiser'".

Lim is represented by a team of lawyers from WongPartnership, including Senior Counsel Tan Chee Meng, Paul Loy and Samuel Navindran.

At the beginning of the hearing on May 6, one of the issues raised was whether the alleged victim should be giving evidence in-camera, which would mean that the public would not be able to sit in the courtroom as she testifies.

According to the Criminal Procedure Code, if an accused is charged with a sexual offence, the court must order that the evidence of a witness who is an alleged victim be given in private, if the victim does not want to testify in open court.

The court also has the discretion to hold any hearing in private.


Arguing for in-camera testimony, DPP Wong said insulting one's modesty is now considered a sexual offence following amendments to the law that came into effect in 2020.

She added that the alleged victim in this case wished to give her evidence in-camera.

Objecting to the application, Tan said insulting the modesty of a woman was not considered a sexual offence at the time it allegedly took place in 2012.

He also said that the alleged victim is currently not vulnerable.

He added that, if she was prepared to make a serious allegation against Lim, she must be able to stand up and give her evidence in public.

This is so that his client would have the opportunity to not only "exonerate himself in the eyes of the court, but in the eyes of the public".

District Judge Wong Peck granted the prosecution's application.

Tan then asked if Lim's wife could remain in court, to give emotional support to him as the witness took the stand.

DPP Wong said this was an unusual request but said she did not object to it, and Lim's wife was allowed to be present.

The rest of the public gallery was cleared at about 10.30am for the victim to take the stand.

ALSO READ: Former Singapore Idol judge Ken Lim hit with new charges of sexual offences against 3 women

This article was first published in The Straits Times. Permission required for reproduction.

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