Art teacher accused of molesting boy

An art teacher accused of molesting one of his students on Feb 17 last year admitted to his principal the next day to touching the boy's thighs, a district court heard yesterday. The man, 38, who has been interdicted from his teaching job, faces three molestation charges.

He allegedly touched the boy's groin, thigh, buttock and chest while they were alone in the art room of the school in the western part of Singapore. He cannot be named to protect the identity of the student, who was 13 and in Secondary 1 at the time.

On the first day of the trial, the principal testified that the teacher confessed on Feb 18 to commenting on the boy's leg hair and asking him if he had seen an adult manga. He also said he had asked the student if he had masturbated and had been in a boy-girl relationship.

When Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong asked the principal for her opinion, she replied: "As an educator, I felt that these things are not acceptable if they were true... (The accused) appeared to be shocked and remorseful. He told me he had gone overboard."

The principal told District Judge John Ng the school did not alert the police immediately due to its protocol. Instead, it informed the Ministry of Education to seek its direction on what to do next.

The trial resumes today.

COURT & CRIMEteachercourt