A 37-year-old secondary school teacher who was in charge of a co-curricular activity (CCA) group pleaded guilty on Thursday, 5 December to molesting three of its teenage members between 2015 to 2017.
According to media reports, the teacher who cannot be named due to a gag order is accused of molesting seven boys in total.
Six other similar charges involving four other teenagers will be considered during sentencing.
The teacher told student ‘play play only’
In 2015, the secondary school teacher offered to drive a 14-year old student home after school hours.
The boy accepted and sat in the front seat with the teacher.
During the ride, the man started asking the boy if he watches pornography and made a vulgar gesture imitating an act of masturbation.
The boy who was shocked replied that he did not.
A few moments later, the man suddenly slipped his hand into the boy’s shorts and touched his private parts over his underwear for about three seconds.
Before letting him go, he told the boy, “play play only, don’t tell any teacher”.
Second victim quit CCA because of incident
The teacher was again involved in a similar incident a year later when he molested a second 14-year-old boy in a gym.
This time, he went over to the boy who was kneeling on the school’s gym floor and hugged him from behind.
The boy, in clear shock, tried to push him away, however, the teacher went on to pull his pants and underwear towards him and then proceeded to clutch his genitals for a few seconds before walking off.
After this act, he was said to have warned the boy, “what happens here, stays in here.” Feeling helpless, the boy later quit the CCA.
The teacher preyed on another 14-year-old boy in school and reportedly laughed after molesting him.
Court: Teacher abused his position
The school principal alerted the police in September 2017.
Taking into account his continued offences, Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim urged the court to sentence the man to at least 26 months jail with three strokes of the cane.
“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,” he added.
The teacher has been suspended from the school since September 2017 and is no longer teaching in any school.
MOE to take ‘internal disciplinary action’ against teacher
In a statement to The Straits Times, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said following the court ruling, it will begin internal disciplinary action against the accused teacher.
The spokesperson added that MOE will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against teachers who ” fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service.”
The man who was offered bail of $3,000 is set to be sentenced on Dec 17.
For each count of molestation, he can be jailed for up to two years and fined or caned.