Teacher gets 8 years’ jail for sex offences against boys in the 1990s when he was student volunteer
He was a lauded student volunteer with a welfare organisation that ran a student care centre for children from low-income or troubled families, but he had a dark secret that stayed hidden during his later career as a teacher.
Between 1992 and 1996, he committed sexual acts against three young boys. His offences were not exposed for more than 20 years.
On Aug 6, 2019, one of his victims, who was sexually abused when he was between 10 and 12 years old, mustered the courage to come forward after reading a news article about victims of sexual crimes.
The police report lodged by this first victim, now 40 years old, eventually led to the disclosure of the accused’s offences against two other victims.
The second victim, now 39 years old, was between nine and 12 years old when he was abused; while the third victim, now 36, was between five and eight years old when he was abused.
On Monday, the perpetrator, who is now 48 years old, was sentenced to eight years’ jail after he pleaded guilty to one count of committing an indecent act with a child and two counts of committing unnatural sex, an offence which has been repealed.
Eight other similar charges were taken into consideration
Prosecutors told the High Court on Monday that the accused did not reoffend while he was a teacher. He cannot be named under a gag order to protect the identities of the victims.
The Straits Times has contacted the Ministry of Education to check if he is still employed as a teacher.
The perpetrator was between 17 and 20 years old at the time of the offences. He was tasked with supervising children who were receiving childcare services and after-school programmes at the centre.
Between 1993 and 1994, during a private tutoring session, he told the first victim to sit on his lap while the boy was naked from the waist down. He then slapped the victim’s genitalia when the boy gave the incorrect answers to his maths questions.
On another occasion, after everyone else had left the centre, he took the second victim to the children’s playroom and committed an indecent act with the boy.
He started having contact with these two victims outside the centre’s operating hours, but no concerns were raised, as he was trusted by the staff and by the boys’ parents.
He continued his sexual assault while he gave the two boys private tuition at the second victim’s home when the child’s parents were not in.
On one occasion, he exposed himself to the first victim and forced the boy to perform oral sex on him.
Between 1992 and 1995, he performed oral sex on the third victim on three occasions, while giving private tuition to the boy at a medical hall owned by the boy’s mother.
He also tried to make the third victim perform sexual acts on him, but the boy successfully pulled his hand away.
In mitigation, defence counsel Rai Satish said his client was a relatively immature teenager when the offences were committed, and that he was trying to understand his sexual awakening.
He said his client remained crime-free after these offences because he learnt that what he had done was wrong and inappropriate behaviour.
The haggard-looking offender also read out a letter, sobbing as he apologised to the victims and to his own family for the hurt he caused them.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Jia En said the victims were still scarred after more than 20 years.
The prosecutor said the third victim’s relationship with his mother was strained because she did not believe what the accused had done to him, while the first victim suffered confidence issues.