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Victims of NUS sexual misconduct saga say school made police report without their consent

NUS however, said that it had informed the two students before a police report against Dr Fernando was made, but that it was only able to reach one of the victims

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The two victims who alleged that the former Tembusu College fellow made non-consensual sexual advances towards them said that the National University of Singapore () made a police report without seeking their consent.

In a article by The Sunday Times on Sunday (Nov 1), the victims said that NUS went against their wishes and did not inform them before it made a police report.

Adding that she had proof, one of the victims told The Sunday Times that she wanted the school to make clear that the two girls were not given a choice in whether the university should make a report.

She said that she had asked NUS to issue a public clarification but has not heard from the school thus far.

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During a press conference on Oct 23, NUS however, said that it had reached out to inform the two students before a police report against Dr Fernando was made, but that it was only able to reach one of the victims.

The University also added that it had a legal obligation to make a police report, under Section 424 of the Criminal Procedure Code.

One of the victims said to ST: “The trauma and anxiety this caused was immense. It escalated beyond my control without my consent… I feel like I have been robbed of my autonomy and agency”.

A victim also said: “NUS and the Victim Care Unit keep making assumptions about what I want and what is beneficial for me as a survivor. Meanwhile, my attempts to communicate my needs are neglected and ignored, even after they declared that they will do better and be more active in communication”.

Dr , was dismissed from the university on Oct 7, which the NUS announced via a statement on Oct 18.

“Given the seriousness of the allegations,” NUS decided to go to the police after the two victims came forward, and advised the students to do likewise, and even accompanied them to the police station. However, NUS said that the victims chose not to file police reports against the former professor.

The university received the first complaint against the former don on Aug 27 and Dr Fernando was suspended four days later. Aside from assisting in the investigation, he was barred from going to NUS. By Sept 5, the university had finished its investigation on the student’s complaint.

However, the second complaint against the former professor was made on Sept 7. A week later, NUS ordered Dr Fernando not to speak to the student who made the complaint. This second investigation was completed by Sept 21.

Dr Fernando was told of the allegations the women had made, and was given seven working days to respond, which he did by Sept 30.

The former don was dismissed on Oct 7, which the university told the two students.

On Oct 18, all staff and students were informed of the matter. /TISG

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