Now, I'm scared to be alone with women

SINGAPORE - It was just a handshake with a female colleague, but it shook his world to the core when she accused him of molesting her.

Mr Paul Joseph Smith, 55, lost his job as an IT project manager and went through the ordeal of a trial in which he was convicted and ordered to be jailed for 18 weeks.

He had to depend on family members in Australia for financial support. Even then, he could afford only a meal a day, he said. When he lodged an appeal against the conviction, he didn't think he stood a chance.

But the seemingly impossible happened and he walked out of court a free man.

During a four-day trial in April and May, the woman, 38, told the court that she felt her breast being squeezed twice, although she did not see him do it.

Acquitted

In June, Mr Smith was convicted of molesting his colleague of two years after a meal on Sept 3 last year.

He appealed and was acquitted on Oct 25.

An appeals judge found there was reasonable doubt, noting that the woman had not been sure if the touch was intentional, The Straits Times reported.

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