Religious teacher jailed for kissing female pupil, 8, on the lips
The girl and her younger brother kissed their teacher's hand out of respect before their Quranic recitation class, and he in turn kissed them on the cheeks.
Then, twice last year, he kissed the eight-year-old girl on the lips and instructed her not to tell anyone.
But she told her mother and her father made a police report.
Yesterday, the religious teacher, 66, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, was jailed for six weeks after pleading guilty to committing an indecent act on her. A similar charge was taken into consideration for sentencing.
The man, an accredited Islamic teacher under the Asatizah Recognition Scheme by the Islamic Religious Council of Singapore (Muis), has been suspended since January last year.
The siblings had attended the classes in his flat since 2017 when the girl was in Primary 1.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Muhamad Imaduddien said she was highly vulnerable and saw the man as a grandfather figure.
Seeking at least two months' jail, he said the offences were premeditated and an abuse of trust and religious authority.
In mitigation, the man's lawyer said his client did not know that kissing the girl's lips was indecent. Before sentencing, District Judge Teo Guan Kee noted that the man has accepted his act was an offence.
Muis said any criminal act will automatically deregister an individual from the Asatizah Recognition Scheme and the person will no longer be allowed to conduct classes on Islam in Singapore.
It reminded the public to be vigilant and to report errant behaviour to the authorities.
The man is out on $15,000 bail and will start his jail term tomorrow. For committing an indecent act with a child, he could have been fined up to $10,000, jailed for up to five years, or both. - KOK YUFENG