School discipline master jailed 6 weeks for molesting pupil, 12
He clearly abused his authority and the trust placed in him as a primary school teacher when he molested a pupil.
That was what District Judge Soh Tze Bian said in sentencing the teacher, 34, to six weeks' jail on two charges of outrage of modesty involving a 12-year-old boy.
He cannot be named because of a gag order to protect the victim.
The judge's decision comes after a 17-day trial between November last year and August.
Court papers said the accused started working at the school, in the West, in 2008.
He was also the school's discipline master and in charge of a co-curricular activity (CCA) of which the victim was a participant.
On March 15, 2012, the teacher had asked his victim out to buy supplies for the next day, said Judge Soh. This was not an official CCA meeting and no other CCA member was expected to be present that day.
The teacher had also singled out the victim to go to the physical education store with him so that he could be alone with the boy.
The teacher told the boy then that he wanted to groom him, even though the boy was a Primary 6 senior who was due to pass out from the CCA in two weeks, noted the judge.
It was there that the teacher hugged and kissed the boy.
The judge said the teacher had also hugged the boy earlier that month as he was giving the boy make-up training at his workstation.
Judge Soh added that the facts appeared to reveal some degree of premeditation and the act was not a mere fleeting touch.
"There is a clear abuse of position of trust or authority. (He) had been entrusted with the physical and emotional well-being of (the victim).
"(The teacher's) actions are also especially sinister as it fuddles the line between a fatherly form of encouragement by a teacher and a corrupting paedophilic act."
The teacher's lawyer, Mr Daniel Chia, told the court that his client would be appealing against the judge's decision on the two convicted charges.
The teacher's $10,000 bail was also doubled yesterday pending his appeal.
For molesting a person under 14, the teacher could have been jailed up to five years, or fined or caned or given any combination of such punishments.
(The teacher's) actions are also especially sinister as it fuddles the line between a fatherly form of encouragement by a teacher and a corrupting paedophilic act.
- District Judge Soh Tze Bian