Male teacher admits to molesting seven boys over two years
14-year-old victims in secondary school were in uniformed group co-curricular activity that male accused was in charge of
In two years, a male teacher in a secondary school molested seven 14-year-old boys who were under his charge .
Afterwards, he told his victims to keep quiet about it.
In one incident, the teacher slipped his hands into the shorts of a student and touched his private parts before telling him: "Play play only. Don't tell any teacher."
He also laughed when another victim fell down in shock after being molested.
The teacher, 37, yesterday pleaded guilty to three charges of molestation, with six similar charges involving four other boys taken into consideration.
All seven victims belonged to a uniformed group co-curricular activity (CCA), which the accused was in charge of.
The teacher and the school cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims.
The court heard that sometime in 2015, he offered to take the first victim home in his car.
During the ride, the teacher asked the student, who sat next to him, if he watched pornography. The boy was shocked.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim told the court: "Before he could answer, the accused clenched his fists and moved it in an up and down motion, performing a gesture which suggested an act of masturbation."
When they reached the student's home, the teacher suddenly slipped his hands into the boy's shorts and molested him for three seconds. He then said: "Don't tell any teacher."
DPP Lim said the boy, who was scared and did not know how to react, got out of the car and went home.
In 2016, as a group of boys were cleaning the school gym during a make-up session of the CCA, the teacher suddenly hugged a boy tightly from behind. The boy, who felt uncomfortable, tried to wriggle free, but the teacher pulled his pants and underwear forward to reach in and molest him.
He then told the other students: "What happens here, stays in here."
The victim later quit the CCA.
Sometime in 2017, the teacher preyed on a boy who was using an exercise roller in the school gym.
He asked the student how low he could lower his body with the equipment, and offered to support him by placing his hand under the boy's body.
He then touched the boy's private parts for two seconds.
Shocked, the boy fell forward and the teacher laughed, said DPP Lim.
The school's principal made a police report on Sept 8, 2017.
Calling for the accused to be jailed for at least 26 months with three strokes of the cane, DPP Lim told District Judge Ng Peng Hong: "Students see teachers as persons in a position of authority, and teachers exercise significant control over their students' lives....
"As the facts reveal, the accused's offending is persistent, wide-ranging and targeted."
In mitigation, the teacher's lawyer, Ms Felicia Ong, said a psychiatrist report showed he suffers from adjustment disorder with mixed anxiety and depressed mood.
The Ministry of Education (MOE) said in a statement yesterday the teacher had been suspended since Sept 14, 2017, and no longer teaches at any school.
Said its spokesman: "MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service."
She said that MOE will commence internal disciplinary action against the man after the court ruling.
The teacher was offered bail of $3,000 and is expected to be sentenced on Dec 17.