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Male dance instructor gets nearly 4 years' jail, caning for molesting 2 primary school boys

SINGAPORE — A former freelance dance instructor was sentenced to three years and 10 months' jail and six strokes of the cane on Thursday (Jan 27) for molesting two boys under his charge.

A 42-year-old former dance instructor pleaded guilty to three charges of outrage of modesty.
A 42-year-old former dance instructor pleaded guilty to three charges of outrage of modesty.
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  • A former freelance dance instructor was sentenced to jail and caning for molesting two boys
  • The victims, both in Primary 4 at the time, were molested repeatedly
  • Prosecutors described the acts as "brazen", as the instructor had molested the boys in school and in the school bus
  • He also did it in the presence of other teachers and students 

SINGAPORE — A former freelance dance instructor was sentenced to three years and 10 months' jail and six strokes of the cane on Thursday (Jan 27) for molesting two boys under his charge.

The 42-year-old man pleaded guilty to three charges of outrage of modesty, with two more taken into consideration during sentencing.

A court order was issued to protect the identities of the victims, who were primary school students at the time of the offences in 2016 for the first victim and in 2019 for the second victim. 

The offender is not named in this report as it could lead to the identification of the victims who are protected by the gag order.

Both pupils felt that the man's actions were inappropriate but were unsure of how to broach it with adults. One victim made a police report only several years later after attending sexual education classes.

The court heard that the first victim was a Primary 4 student who was part of a Malay dance co-curricular activity (CCA) in school at the time of the offence in 2016. The accused was his dance instructor at that time.

While adjusting the victim’s dance costume before a performance, the instructor suddenly fondled the boy's private parts.

He smiled at the victim throughout the ordeal, which lasted for about five seconds. Shocked and frozen in fear, the victim did not resist.

After the performance, the students gathered back in the dance room together with the instructor and two teachers. By that time, the victim, who sat at the back of the group, was in his school T-shirt and shorts.

The instructor sat behind the boy, suddenly wrapped both arms around his waist and molested him for up to 20 seconds. The victim was again shocked and frozen in fear.

While the victim was traumatised by his experience and knew that the touches were inappropriate and wrong, he did not know how to broach it with adults until he attended a sexual education class in August 2020. He then told his teacher and mother about the incident and a police report was filed thereafter.

In November 2019, the man preyed on another dance pupil, a Pri 4 student in the Malay dance CCA at another school.

During the first incident involving this victim, the instructor molested the boy in the toilet while the boy was changing out of his costume after a performance. He pulled down the victim’s shorts and molested him for up to five minutes.

A few months later in February 2020, the man molested the same victim again, this time at the back of a chartered bus for about 20 minutes en route to a performance venue.

In August that year, the second victim went for sexual education classes and told his teacher about the incidents. The educator then proceeded to escalate the issue to the school management. A police report was later filed.

On Thursday, Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Ee Hsiun said that the man's acts involved a high degree of sexual exploitation. The offences involved sustained, direct contact with the victims’ private parts.

He highlighted that the acts were premeditated, with the accused deliberately sitting near one victim and following the other victim to the toilet. The accused also asked the second victim to move to the back of the bus before molesting him.

DPP Chong pointed out the brazenness of the offences, with some of the incidents happening in the presence of other students and teachers.

The man also abused the teacher-pupil relationships that he had with his young and vulnerable victims.

The prosecution sought a 46 to 50 months’ jail term, with at least six strokes of the cane.

Speaking in Malay through a court interpreter, the accused, who was not represented by a lawyer and dressed in all-black, said in mitigation that these were his first offences and that he truly regretted committing them.

The man broke down in tears and took a few moments to compose himself, before adding that he was afraid of the caning sentence that came with the offence.

He said that he lives alone with his mother in a rented residence, and therefore pleaded for his jail term to be delayed by a week to find an alternative caregiving arrangement for his mother.

District Judge Ng Peng Hong ordered prison sentences of 20 to 26 months and two strokes of the cane for each of the three charges. Two of the sentences will be served concurrently, resulting in three years and 10 months of jail in total with six strokes of the cane.

A person found guilty of using criminal force with intent to outrage modesty can be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned or given any combination of the three.

Conviction for this offence against a victim aged under 14 carries up to five years' jail, a fine, caning or a combination of the three.


Related topics

court crime molest primary school children sexual assault

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