Teacher jailed 10½ years after being fugitive for 17 years for abusing pupils
A primary school teacher sexually abused eight male pupils in 2001 and 2002 before absconding to Indonesia and remained on the run for 17 years.
During that time, he assumed a new identity and obtained an Indonesian passport under another name. Using his new travel documents, he returned to Singapore 31 times between Jan 8 and Dec 28 in 2015 to visit his family.
The Singaporean was finally caught on Aug 21 last year, when he went to Woodlands East Neighbourhood Police Centre to report the loss of his NRIC.
A district court heard that he had wanted to obtain a replacement card in order to withdraw cash from his Central Provident Fund. The former teacher was arrested after a police officer screened him and found that he was a wanted man.
The man, who is now 56 years old, was sentenced on Friday to 10½ years' jail after pleading guilty to three counts of molestation and one count of carnal intercourse against the order of nature.
These offences involved four pupils. He also admitted to an offence under the Immigration Act.
Nineteen other charges, including sexual offences linked to four other boys, were considered during sentencing. The man's details and those of the school cannot be disclosed due to a gag order.
The former teacher targeted his first victim, aged about 10, in 2001, when they were at a swimming complex.
The boy was taking a shower when the man, who was naked, entered the same cubicle and asked the pupil to touch his private parts. The child complied.
The following year, the man targeted three other boys, all aged about 12.
He made his second victim perform a similar act on him after another swimming session. A third boy was made to touch the man's private parts during a school camp.
The man targeted his fourth victim by sending him a text message, claiming that he needed help for some work in his flat. When the boy arrived, the man asked him to perform oral sex. He complied.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Chua Ying-Hong said the fourth victim later told the principal of his school about his ordeal. The other victims also found out about one another on Nov 12, 2002, and decided to tell a teacher about the acts.
The school principal called the man to his office two days later to tell him about the allegations and that he would alert the police. He also told the man to return to the school the next day with his passport.
On Nov 15, 2002, the offender packed his belongings, drove his car to Johor Baru and took a flight to Kuala Lumpur.
After that, he took another flight to Surabaya in Indonesia before eventually settling in Cirebon in north-west Java.
In a statement on Friday, the Ministry of Education said the man is no longer its employee as of April 2003.