A private tutor was jailed 13.5 months on Tuesday (4 April) for molesting an 11-year-old female student during a tuition session.
Yong Koon Seong, 65, had touched the victim’s breasts at the victim’s home in June 2013. The victim, now 14 years old, cannot be named due to a gag order.
Yong was convicted of one molest charge in the State Courts, and was sentenced to 12 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane. In lieu of his age, Yong will be spared caning and given a six-week jail term. A second similar charge was taken into consideration during sentencing.
In sentencing Yong, District Judge (DJ) Eddy Tham said that Yong had betrayed the trust given to him by the victim’s parents, who had engaged him as a tutor. Yong had “succumbed to his base instinct…gave in to his lust and committed a very serious offence against a very young child”, said DJ Tham.
The touch was not “fleeting” but had lasted some two to three minutes. “The accused did not show immediate remorse but had the presence of mind to try to cover his acts by getting the victim to spin a story about him,” said DJ Tham.
Yong was first engaged as a private tutor in 2012 to help the victim in mathematics. He would go to the victim’s house twice a week to tutor her in her study room. During each session, which would last one-and-a-half hours, the study room door would be left half open.
The court heard that halfway through a lesson on 24 June 2013, the victim became restless and Yong patted her on the back.
Noticing that the victim was not wearing a bra, Yong became aroused and grabbed her breast through her t-shirt. The victim tried and failed to remove Yong’s hand. Yong then stood up, went behind the victim and continued to molest her.
The molest lasted for two to three minutes before Yong noticed the victim’s grandmother standing by the door. He removed his hand and sat down. When confronted by the victim’s grandmother, Yong pretended that nothing had happened. The victim’s grandmother called the victim’s parents, who advised her not to alarm Yong.
Yong later tried to brush off the incident by asking the victim to tell her grandmother that he had a backache and could not sit for too long, and that he was just bending over her to check her work.
Later that night, the victim’s parents confronted Yong, who admitted that he had molested the victim on two separate occasions while tutoring their daughter.
According to the victim’s mother, the victim has been fearful of men ever since the incident and would not sit or stand near them in public places. She would also wear a jacket and keep it zipped up even in hot weather.
For his offence, Yong could have been jailed up to five years and/or fined and/or caned.