Tutor who sexually abused boy, 13, on pretext of showering him jailed, caned

Wan Ting Koh
Reporter
Singapore state courts (Yahoo News Singapore file photo)

He was supposed to give tuition to a 13-year-old boy but he brought him out for swimming instead.

Teo Boon Kang then subject the Secondary 1 student to a traumatic ordeal when he molested the boy in a cubicle and also tried to sexually penetrate him.

On Tuesday (21 August) Teo, who was both a tutor and freelance swimming instructor, was sentenced to 10 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane in the State Courts. The 49-year-old was convicted after a four-day trial on offences committed against a minor under 14, including one count of molest, two counts of attempted aggravated sexual assault and one count of indecent act.

According to court documents, the boy, now 15, first met Teo in March 2016 after his father arranged for his tuition lessons. The boy would meet Teo up to four times a week for tuition sessions, which would be held at a McDonald’s outlet in Bukit Panjang Plaza or Teo’s house. A 13-year-old nephew of Teo’s would be present at the sessions.

The boy testified during the trial that on his first tuition session, Teo would slap his buttocks everytime he got in or out of his seat. Although the boy was shocked by the act, he was scared of Teo.

He informed his parents, who confronted Teo about the incident. However, his parents asked the boy to give Teo a second chance as Teo claimed he was merely being friendly.

Teo would also treat his nephew and the victim to movies and food. He also gave the victim gifts including a G-Shock watch wrapped in a “heart-shaped wrapper” and a Billabong pencil case.

On 12 May 2016, as the boy headed to Teo’s house for tuition, Teo met him at the void deck with his swimming gear.

The boy was confused as Teo did not tell him they were going swimming. But Teo claimed that the boy’s father had asked him to bring the boy to go for swimming.

The two then went to Home Team NS Clubhouse in Bukit Batok where Teo provided the boy with a pair of swimming tights. When the boy complained that the trunks were too tight, Teo insisted on helping the victim to adjust the outfit.

Teo then inserted his hand into the boy’s trunks and pulled his genitals upwards. The victim told the court that the “grab” lasted for a few seconds. Even though the boy felt offended, he took it that Teo was merely trying to help.

While in the pool, Teo also touched the boy by placing his hands on his hips, with his thumbs on the boy’s buttocks.

After the session, the two went to the changing room where Teo told the boy they had to shower together as there was only one towel. Although the boy asked Teo to shower first, Teo forcibly pulled the boy into the cubicle and told him to strip in a “serious tone”, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau.

“The victim felt ‘screwed’ and obeyed as he feared that something worse might happen otherwise,” she said.

Teo then began soaping the boy all over his body. Even as the boy covered his genitals, Teo said, “Why cover your penis? We are men.”

He also sexually assaulted the boy, causing the boy to shout at Teo, who then apologised. But he continued to touch the boy on the genitals. Teo attempted to sexually assault and molest the boy a second time but the boy resisted.

The two later ate at a KFC outlet after swimming. During their meal, Teo asked the boy, “I rub you very clean. Do you feel very clean right now?”

After he was sent home, the boy told his mother that Teo had molested him before locking himself in his room. The boy threw a fit when his mother tried to get more details from him. He later revealed details of the incident to his father, who made a police report.

The incident caused the boy to become homophobic and suffer from flashbacks, according to the prosecution. His mother testified that the boy would shut himself at home instead of hanging out with his friends and he also blamed his father for introducing him to Teo.

In calling for a jail sentence of 10 years and 27 strokes of the cane for Teo, DPP Lau pointed to the “depravity” and “innate offensiveness” of Teo’s actions.

“(Teo) stood in a clear position of authority to the victim as the latter’s tuition teacher… (he) had exposed the victim to moral corruption by showering with him and committing the various sexual acts against him in a public toilet,” she said.

Teo has also previously been convicted on two counts of molest in November 2009. He was sentenced to 16 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane for those offences.

Teo’s lawyer, Richard Lim, sought a jail sentence of eight years, eight months and 12 strokes of the cane. He said his client, who is single, excelled in coaching and that the boy’s results “improved tremendously” after he started tuition. Teo stopped coaching after the incident and became a part-time waiter.

In sentencing Teo, District Judge Terence Tay said Teo committed “abhorrent acts” towards the boy within the confines of the shower cubicle.

“The trauma and emotional scars cannot be understated… the sentence must reflect the heinousness of the act,” said the judge.