Singapore

Corrective training, caning for ex-teacher who sexually abused teens

A former primary school teacher, who was jailed twice for sexually preying on teenage boys, committed similar offences again and was sentenced to six strokes of the cane and eight years of corrective training.

Chock Soon Seng, now 43, will undergo corrective training, which is a prison regime for repeat offenders without the usual one-third remission for good behaviour.

He pleaded guilty last month to four counts of sexual penetration involving two of three underage boys he had met in 2018 and 2019.

Fourteen other charges involving the two teenagers and the third victim were considered in sentencing.

Chock was working as a freelance tutor at the time of his latest offences.

The court heard that his first victim, a 15-year-old boy, had in 2018 posted an advertisement on online classifieds website Locanto indicating that he was interested in looking for women.

Chock responded to the ad in April that year, and the teenager told him that he was not a homosexual. But Chock persuaded him to "experiment" and said it was "normal for straight men to perform sexual acts on one another".

OFFERED TO PAY

Deputy public prosecutors Chin Jincheng and Chong Yong said Chock made no attempt to verify the boy's age and instead offered to pay him for sexual acts. On April 23, 2018, Chock went to the teenager's home, where they performed oral sex on each other. He later gave the boy an unspecified amount of cash and left.

Chock continued to pester the boy to meet him again, but the latter was not interested. He then promised to pay the boy if he agreed to a second meeting. The teenager relented and they performed sexual acts on each other at the boy's home on May 11, 2018.

Chock met the second victim, 13, through a gay dating app in 2018. The teenager told him that he was a Primary 6 pupil.

The pair met on April 15 that year and performed sexual acts on each other at a staircase landing of a multi-storey carpark and did similar acts in a toilet cubicle at Punggol Community Club two days later.

Chock's offences came to light in June 2019 when the second victim's mother found sex-related conversations on her son's mobile phone. She alerted the police, and Chock was arrested soon after.

He was first jailed for 10 months in 2010 when he was a primary school teacher, after he tried to persuade two 13-year-old boys to let him watch them perform a sexual act.

In 2014, he was sentenced to three years' jail for offences that included sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy.

This article first appeared in The Straits Times.

COURT & CRIME