Singapore

Male teacher accused of molesting boy claims trial

A male teacher claimed trial in a district court yesterday after he allegedly molested a 12-year-old boy on three occasions in 2017.

The 35-year-old Singaporean, who had taught in a primary school, cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the boy's identity.

Court documents did not disclose the nature of their relationship.

In a statement to The Straits Times yesterday, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said the man has been suspended from service since July 2017 and is no longer teaching in any school.

Its spokesman added: "MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service."

The man has claimed trial to three counts of molestation.

Two other charges involving the same boy - one count each of assault and showing him a pornographic video - will be dealt with at a later stage.

According to court documents, the man allegedly assaulted the boy in April 2017 by grabbing his wrists and slapping his cheek.

He is accused of showing the child a pornographic video on a computer on June 15 that year.

He is also said to have molested his alleged victim on two separate occasions that day.

The man allegedly molested the boy again on June 16, 2017.

His bail has been set at $15,000 and the trial resumes today.

Offenders convicted of molesting a child below 14 years old can be jailed for up to five years and fined or caned for each charge. - THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME