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Primary school teacher found guilty of molesting 12-year-old male student during sleepover

SINGAPORE — A 36-year-old primary school teacher was convicted on Monday (July 12) of molesting and attempting to molest a former student, who was aged 12 at the time of the offences in 2017.

  • A primary school teacher was convicted of molesting a boy three times in 2017
  • The boy was 12 at the time
  • The boy’s mother testified during the trial that she had treated the man like family
  • The man gradually began kissing and hugging the boy, then molested him during a sleepover
  • He will return to court for mitigation and sentencing in August

 

SINGAPORE — A 36-year-old primary school teacher was convicted on Monday (July 12) of molesting and attempting to molest a former student, who was aged 12 at the time of the offences in 2017.

The Singaporean teacher, who has since been suspended from service and no longer teaches in a school, cannot be named due to a court order to protect the boy’s identity.

He will return to court for mitigation and sentencing next month.

District Judge John Ng convicted him of three outrage of modesty offences committed on June 15 and 16 in 2017 during a sleepover at his home.

He had first tapped the boy’s genitals over his shorts, then later on the same day inserted his hand into the boy’s underwear and shorts to touch his genitals. He then tried to touch the boy’s crotch again the next morning.

Two other charges — one of voluntarily causing hurt by grabbing the boy’s wrists and slapping his cheek, and another of exhibiting an obscene object by showing him a pornographic video on his laptop — were stood down during the trial.

The man had been the boy’s Primary 6 form teacher in 2016 and developed a close relationship with him.

The victim, now 16, was raised by a single mother who told the court that the teacher had been like family to them, even lending her money several times and acting as the boy’s guardian.

CALLED HIM ‘DAD’

Around the end of 2016, the teacher told mother and son that he had dreamt of Jesus telling him to regard the boy as his godson. The boy, who was about to move on to Secondary 1, eventually agreed to this relationship and even called him “dad” after a while.

The pair then met up frequently and would send each other phone text messages throughout the day.

The boy testified that the man began giving him side hugs at first, then progressed to kissing his forehead, cheeks and lips, and asking the boy to sit on his lap occasionally.

He even got into a violent argument with the boy when he felt that the boy was prioritising his then-girlfriend over him.

A consultant with the Institute of Mental Health’s department of child and adolescent psychiatry testified that the man’s text messages showed he needed the boy to “satisfy his excessive emotional needs” and that it was an “intense” relationship.

CAUGHT IN THE ACT

Sometime in 2017, the mother’s work supervisor saw the teacher hugging and kissing the victim, while the victim was sitting in the teacher’s lap, at the void deck of the block of flats where they lived.

The supervisor reported this to the mother.

During the June school holidays that same year, a member of the public saw the man behaving inappropriately towards the boy at a McDonald’s outlet and submitted a formal report to the boy’s school. 

The mother herself once returned home to find the boy seated on the teacher’s lap.

Still, on June 15, 2017, she allowed the boy to go to the man’s place for a sleepover, saying that the boy had cajoled her to let him.

The boy told the court that he and the teacher spoke about pornography and masturbation during the sleepover, and that the man repeatedly asked to shower with him.

He said he also told the teacher that he had accidentally burnt his penis while playing with fire in 2013, and that the teacher then molested him.

During the trial, the man claimed that he only meant to check the boy’s injured body part. 

The boy testified that they then watched an obscene film and the man molested him again that same night.

He called his mother and signalled that he was not okay, but the man interrupted the conversation. The mother could not fetch her son because she did not know where the man lived.

The next day, the son told her that the man had molested him.

When school reopened on June 27, the boy’s school counsellor showed the boy two photographs that the witness at McDonald’s had taken of him and his teacher, and he told the counsellor about the molestation.

The counsellor then called his mother to ask if she was aware of the incident, but she asked the school to delay reporting the matter to the police because she was facing family issues and had already planned to meet the man.

When she could not be contacted the next morning, school staff members took her son to a police station to file a report.

For molesting a minor, the teacher could be jailed up to five years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of the three punishments. Attempted molestation carries up to half of the punishment.

Related topics

crime court teacher molest school pornography obscene video

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