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NUS files police report against former Tembusu College don for sexual misconduct

SINGAPORE – The National University of Singapore (NUS) has made a police report against former Tembusu College don Jeremy Fernando for sexual misconduct and has advised two victims to do the same.

In a statement late on Wednesday (Oct 21), NUS said it took this course of action, “given the seriousness of the allegations”.

The university also provided a detailed timeline of when it first became aware of the allegations against Dr Fernando, and the actions it took – which included interviewing him and prohibiting him from making contact with students.

NUS said it received a complaint from a student on Aug 27, and on Aug 31, Dr Fernando was suspended. He was also stopped from going to his place of work other than to assist in the university’s investigations.

NUS also spoke to both the victims, and put them in touch with an officer from the Victim Care Unit. It also explored with the students the option of making a police report, including getting a staff member to accompany them to the police station. The students opted not to go to the police, the statement said.

It added that Dr Fernando was sacked after NUS completed its investigations.

The statement said: “We recognise that we could have shared information about the dismissal with Tembusu staff and students in a more timely manner and we endeavour to do better.”

However, NUS felt it had to balance the interests of privacy and confidentiality, particularly for the victims involved, the statement added.

On Sunday, it emerged that NUS had fired Dr Fernando after investigating complaints that he engaged in sexual misconduct with two students.

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The two undergraduate women wished to neither be named nor reveal their ages.

One of the women alleged that Dr Fernando made non-consensual sexual advances, such as kissing and groping her, and performed oral sex while she was drunk.

The other woman alleged that he tried touching her and kissing her. He later told her not to tell anyone, and that if she did not keep it a secret, he would lose his job.

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