Art teacher found guilty of molesting 13-year-old student in school

(PHOTO: Getty Images)

He first poked the student in the ribs and squeezed his chest, then told the 13-year-old that he looked like a Japanese porn character.

By the time the session was over, the 38-year-old art teacher had also touched the boy’s buttocks and made several grabs at the victim’s groin.

At the State Courts on Monday (16 July), the teacher was found guilty of three counts of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the Secondary 2 student following a trial. Both the boy and his teacher cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity.

In finding the teacher guilty, District Judge (DJ) John Ng said found the boy’s testimony “crystal clear”. This, together with the testimonies of the other witnesses, lent weight to the veracity of the boy’s account of the incident, the DJ said.

According to the prosecution, the boy had stayed in school after classes ended on 17 February 2016 in order to complete a group project. He was initially joined by two friends who left at around 2.30pm.

Sometime after 3pm, the boy was working on his project in the school’s art studio when the teacher – who was supervising students at work in the room – came up to him and poked his ribs, ticked his right underarm and squeezed the right area of his chest.

The teacher then told the boy that latter looked like a Japanese porn character. While there were other students in the studio at the time, they were seated a few tables away.

The boy was shocked by the teacher’s actions but shrugged them off as he wanted to complete his sculpture and return home.

About an hour later, the boy carried the sculpture to another portion of the room in order to seek the teacher’s help.

While assisting the boy, the teacher repeatedly asked him if he masturbated, adding that the boy had very long and “very sexy” leg hair. He also asked the boy if he had grown pubic and underarm hair.

The teacher then grabbed the boy’s left ankle before molesting the boy under his shorts. As the boy backed away, the man grabbed his left wrist, pulled him back and molested the boy over his shorts several times.

Shocked, the boy pushed the teacher’s hand away before carrying his sculpture out of the room.

The boy told his sister what happened later that night, after which his parents were also informed.

During the nine days of trial between November last year and May this year, the boy testified that he had become warier of others, especially teachers, following the incident. According to the prosecution, he also did not like art as much due to the “bad memories of the incident of molest”.

Before the incident, the boy had considered art his favourite subject and was passionate about it.

The teacher is expected to be sentenced on 14 August.

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Trial continues for secondary school teacher accused of molesting student

Secondary school molest case: Victim recounted alleged act for teachers, vice-principal