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Jail for instructor who isolated minor from siblings during training, repeatedly molested her

SINGAPORE — When an instructor got away with molesting a nine-year-old girl after a training session, he grew emboldened and molested her several more times in a storeroom away from the other students, ordering her to stay silent.

Jail for instructor who isolated minor from siblings during training, repeatedly molested her
A 58-year-old man pleaded guilty to molesting a girl from March to September 2019.
  • A Singaporean man began molesting his nine-year-old student when she was injured
  • The instructor got away with this for months by taking her away from other students when he committed the crimes
  • She grew afraid when he told her father that he wanted to take her and her siblings to an overseas competition

SINGAPORE — When an instructor got away with molesting a nine-year-old girl after a training session, he grew emboldened and molested her several more times in a storeroom away from the other students, ordering her to stay silent.

However, when he told her father that he intended to take her and her siblings for an overseas competition, she became afraid and confided in her mother about the sexual abuse.

On Tuesday (March 8), the instructor, now aged 58, was jailed five years and three months. He had pleaded guilty to three outrage of modesty charges last month midway through a trial.

His jail sentence includes three months in lieu of caning, as offenders aged 50 or above cannot be caned under the law.

He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity. The exact nature of the troupe they were involved in was also removed from court documents.

He was the main instructor of the troupe and they trained at a warehouse, where he personally attended and led the training sessions on Sundays for younger students from kindergarten and primary school.

No one else would be around apart from him and the students, the court heard.

The victim and her two younger siblings began training under him in November 2018. They referred to him as “master”, a term of respect that reflected his authority.

Because of this, he would discipline or punish them if they did not perform according to his instructions, the court heard.

When the children’s father was busy, the father trusted the instructor enough to fetch them from home to the warehouse for training, then take them back home.

HOW IT BEGAN

The trainer began molesting the girl in March 2019 after a fellow student accidentally kicked her at the area of her private parts.

He approached her and asked if she was okay, then took her away from the other students to a kitchen. He closed the kitchen door and told her to undress and sit on a chair.

He then molested her under the pretext of rubbing medicated oil on her, then told her to return to training and not to tell anyone what had happened.

He repeated this one or two weeks later.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Angela Ang and Marcus Foo told the court that the instructor “wanted to again use the victim to satisfy his lust” and felt that he could molest her again without being detected because he had not received any complaints from her parents.

This time, he took the girl to a storeroom on the second floor of the warehouse.

From April to September 2019, he molested her several times in a similar fashion. Court documents did not specify how often this happened.

He also took her to a room on the top floor that was only accessible through a trapdoor on the ceiling of the second-floor storeroom.

Later, the girl and her siblings took a break from training due to their school examinations.

On Oct 26, 2019, the accused called their father to get him to take the children to training the next day.

The victim, who was holding onto her father’s phone, declined the call and deleted the accused’s contact from the device. She did not want to return to training and was afraid he would touch her inappropriately again.

However, the man managed to reach her father later that day. He also said that he intended to take the victim and her siblings to Malaysia for a competition the following month.

Their father agreed and told them about the competition. The victim then repeatedly begged him to let her skip training the next day out of fear of seeing the accused again, but eventually agreed to do so because her siblings were keen on attending the competition.

However, she remained afraid of returning to training. After her father left for work in the evening and her siblings had gone to sleep, she confided in her mother about what the accused had done.

Her mother later informed her husband, and both took her to Nanyang Neighbourhood Police Centre to make a police report. 

The accused was arrested later that day.

The victim was examined at the Institute of Mental Health’s Child Guidance Clinic, where she reported feeling fearful and angry since the abuse. She had recurrent thoughts about it and became fearful of older males.

The prosecution sought five-and-a-half to six years’ jail, while the accused’s lawyer Kalaithasan Karuppaya asked for two-and-a-half years’ jail instead.

The defence counsel told the court in mitigation that the accused has been married for 10 years and would often "go beyond the call of duty" to take care of his students. He had no prior criminal record.

Those convicted of molesting a minor under 14 can be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or punished with any combination of the three.

Related topics

court crime molest underage sexual abuse children

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