By: 永久浪客/Forever Vagabond
Indian national, Rakesh Kumar Prasad, is currently on trial for molestation. He was accused of molesting his female student thrice during a yoga lesson conducted by him. He faces one charge of outrage of modesty and one count of using criminal force.
During the trial, video footage of the incidents captured on CCTV, were also played in court.
According to the ST report, Rakesh is represented by lawyer, Genesis Shen. Of course every accused deserves representation in the Court of Law. But his line of questioning of the alleged molest victim leaves much to be desired.
When he cross-examined the woman, he repeatedly asked her why she did not seek help immediately after being molested. He also asked her if her actions were consistent with “how a molest victim would react”. His questions reduced the helpless woman to tears.
She replied that she was alone, and did not know any studio staff. “I was helpless, what did you expect me to do?” she asked with tears welling up in her eyes.
Who is Genesis Shen?
According to Mr Shen’s LinkedIn profile, Mr Shen obtained his law degree from NUS (2010-2014). He now works for the law firm Gloria James-Civetta & Co (GJC Law).
His profile said, “In Court, Genesis is both well-prepared and organised, and yet flexible enough to adapt to changing circumstances. Even under fire, Genesis delivers his arguments calmly and with surgical precision in order to obtain the desired result, and inspires confidence in clients.”
Mr Shen is in fact, from YPAP. This is according to an ST report (‘Young PAP bars user from its Facebook page‘, 13 Dec 2009).
At the time, a Facebook user was engaging YPAP on its Facebook page. The user said that his discussions with YPAP members were proceeding well initially until at one point, a YPAP member posted information about him being put in detention barracks during his NS days. The user was detained by SAF for posting online the number of people who have died while serving NS.
In the report, ST identified Genesis Shen as a moderator of the YPAP Facebook page.
Mr Shen said he and several others were roped in by YPAP to reply to the user’s postings. Subsequently, war of words broke out and the user was banned from YPAP Facebook page. The user maintained that he was silenced for his outspoken views against policies like NS and CPF while YPAP administrators said he was indulging in name-calling.
In 2012 while he was still an NUS student, Mr Shen participated at an SMU forum organized by The Singapore Globalist. He was on the panel representing YPAP. The forum evolved into a heated debate on the restrictions of Singapore’s authoritarian ruling PAP and the effects these constraints have on the scope for student activism.
A participant posed a question to the panelists on the Yale-NUS situation and Mr Shen volunteered to reply. She asked about the controversial restrictions imposed by Yale-NUS on student activism (‘Yale-NUS will have freedom, says YP member at forum‘).
She asked, “Do you think that these constraints constitute a deficit in the scope of exposure a potential student will get in terms of socio-political activism. And lastly, following the theme of student activism, will this move eventually make students of Yale-NUS socially inactive and politically apathetic?”
In his reply, Mr Shen launched into a defence of how Singapore is a multi-racial country and ignored her question entirely. Mr Shen would have probably gone on and on preaching the benefits of living in Singapore if the moderator had not interjected, noted the participant.
Moderator: “Mr Shen, if you could answer the question…”
Mr Shen, in a hesitant tone: “Well…uh, freedom of expression? It will happen. We didn’t have freedom of expression ten years ago. Freedom of speech and expression. It will happen.”
Another participant interjected, “How? How will this happen?”
Mr Shen, looking flustered, blurted, “It will happen lah!”
With regard to Mr Shen’s reply, the participant commented in her blog, “Sadly, we cannot blame Genesis Shen alone for his answer, which is nothing more than a speculative one, although he seems genuinely convicted by his beliefs. Instead, it seems that Mr Shen’s attitude is due to the sociopolitical environment in which Mr Shen is conditioned.”
“This is, I think, another kind of apathy. The kind where you are conditioned to believe in something blindly, as opposed to looking at the real picture and forming your own opinions based on your own experiences,” she added.
In any case, Mr Shen continues to volunteer at Meet-the-People Sessions and community events in grassroots organisations. He disclosed this in his law firm’s website.
“His experiences with many different people from different walks of life makes Genesis sensitive to the psychological and emotional needs of both his clients and his opponents. These are useful skills when creativity and clarity of thought are needed to disentangle complex negotiating conditions,” the website said.