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Former international school teacher who 'dated' 14-year-old student gets jail for sexual acts

SINGAPORE — While working as a teacher in an international school here, a 26-year-old man asked a newly arrived foreign student to be his girlfriend and told the teenager to keep quiet about it.

A 29-year-old teacher was given five years’ jail for sexual penetration of a minor.
A 29-year-old teacher was given five years’ jail for sexual penetration of a minor.
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  • A 26-year-old permanent resident initiated a “relationship” with a teenage girl in 2019
  • He taught her mathematics in class and they grew closer over WeChat
  • They had sex four times at his home before they broke up after two months of being together
  • He gave her contraceptive pills obtained from an online forum contact

SINGAPORE — While working as a teacher in an international school here, a 26-year-old man asked a newly arrived foreign student to be his girlfriend and told the teenager to keep quiet about it.

When they engaged in sexual activities at his home, he also told her that it was a “natural thing” and gave her contraceptive pills to prevent any unwanted pregnancies.

She initially did not report the matter to the police, because the teacher had told her that her father would be furious if he found out. It was only after she returned to China and confided in her mother that she went to the authorities.

On Monday (Sept 5), the teacher, now aged 29, was jailed for five years.

The Singapore permanent resident pleaded guilty to three counts of sexual penetration of a minor under 16, with two other similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.

He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim, now 17.

She was 14 years old when she first met the teacher in 2019, the court heard. She had arrived in Singapore in February that year to pursue her studies.

The teacher taught her class mathematics and they exchanged contact details for messaging application WeChat when she approached him to ask for study materials.

They began chatting more frequently and she confided in him about the issues she faced as a new arrival in Singapore.

In April 2019, he invited the girl and her friend, a 20-year-old man who was also a China national, to his home for lunch.

Before the other guest arrived, the teacher hugged the girl and kissed her on the face.

When they were leaving, the teacher asked her to be his girlfriend and she agreed, thinking it would be good to have a teacher to care for her. She also told him that he was her first boyfriend, the court heard.


As their relationship progressed, they kissed in school when no one else was around. They also had sex on four occasions at his home over the course of two months.

He told her not to tell anyone about their relationship because it would harm her reputation, and he was concerned that he would lose his job if anyone learned about it. He also said that it would be “terrible” for her if her parents found out about their sexual intimacy.

Twice, he gave her contraceptive pills.

They broke up in mid-June 2019 when the school term closed and his employment with the school ended.

She had also told him about her plans to transfer to another school, which prompted him to initiate a breakup because they would not be able to meet regularly.

The girl then confided in her friend that she had just broken up with someone.

When she revealed that she was dating her teacher and had had sex with him, her friend took her to school to confront the man.

During the discussion, the teacher persuaded her not to report the matter to the police for the sake of her reputation. He also told her that her father would be furious.

She decided not to go to the police and returned to China in July that year to spend her birthday at home.

When she told her mother, the older woman contacted the girl’s guardian in Singapore. When the girl returned to Singapore, her guardian went to the police.

The teacher was abroad at the time of the police report but was arrested upon returning to Singapore on Sept 8, 2019.

The girl was examined at the Child Guidance Clinic of the Institute of Mental Health (IMH) in November that year, where she said that she felt sad, angry and fearful after having sex with the man.

She also feared men and had difficulty trusting others, the IMH medical report showed.


On Monday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng argued that the teacher showed some level of manipulation and put the girl’s health at risk by making her take contraceptive pills that he had obtained from someone he met on an online forum.

The prosecutor, who sought at least five to six years’ jail, said: “Here, the accused as a mature adult should not have even contemplated a romantic relationship with a minor in the first place. As an educator, he had egregiously abused the trust reposed in him as the victim’s teacher.

“The sentence must also reflect society’s disapprobation of those who abuse their entrusted positions of trust over the young and vulnerable.”

In mitigation, the man's defence team from Withers KhattarWong, including Mr Shashi Nathan and Ms Laura Yeo, said that their client studied at Nanyang Technological University when he came to Singapore at age 17. He became an insurance agent before realising that he enjoyed teaching.

He was extremely remorseful for his actions and accepted that he should have known better than to become romantically involved with his student, the lawyers added.

"(He) was well-respected by his peers and maintained the utmost professionalism with his other students.

"Unfortunately, a lapse in judgement has cost (him) all that he worked hard to achieve, and he will continue to live with the regret for the rest of his life," they told the court.

The teacher could have been jailed up to 20 years, as well as fined or caned, for sexual penetration of a minor.

Related topics

court crime underage teenager student teacher sex

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