A 29-year-old female secondary school teacher was jailed for two years and nine months yesterday (10 June) after she was found guilty of engaging in sexual acts with an underage male student. Five other charges involving the same victim were considered during sentencing.
Both the woman and the student, who was 15 when the offences occurred, cannot be named due to a gag order that was mandated by court to protect the victim’s identity.
The court heard that the teacher told the student to perform sexual acts on her and even recorded a video of herself in bed with the student in a Geylang hotel room. The woman had been the boy’s maths teacher for about two years, from 2014 to 2016.
Although she stopped teaching the boy’s class in 2016, the woman became close to the boy when she supervised a school-affiliated camping trip in March 2016. Deputy Public Prosecutor Yvonne Poon told the court:
“They grew closer and began texting and speaking more, with the accused eventually telling the victim that she had feelings for him. The victim had also told her that he ‘liked her’. They entered a romantic relationship around September 2016.”
Besides exchanging sexually explicit messages, the teacher and the victim would jog together and “engage in physical intimacy” at reservoirs and parks. Months later, in late November 2016, the teacher and the victim stayed together at the Super 8 Hotel in Geylang from 28 Nov to 2 Dec 2016.
The boy lied to his mother and said that he would be attending a camp with his uniformed group on the dates he was at the hotel with the teacher but his 46-year-old mother discovered the relationship when she found heart-shaped letters in her son’s bag, along with the teacher’s condominium access card, car key and motor vehicle registration papers.
Suspicious, especially when her son asked her whether she would be alright if he married someone 11 years his senior, the mother reported the matter to the school and the police subsequently arrested the teacher, who has also been suspended from the school.
The woman pleaded guilty to two counts each of offences under the Children and Young Persons Act and sexual penetration acts involving a minor.
Asking for at least two years and 10 months in jail, DPP Poon argued: “As the victim’s teacher, the accused was further supposed to play the role of nurturer and educator, and to watch out for the victim’s welfare. Instead, she exerted a morally corrupting influence on the victim.”
The woman is now out on bail of S$15,000 and is expected to surrender at the State Courts on 24 June to start serving her jail term. She could have been imprisoned for a maximum of ten years and fined for each charge for being convicted of sexual penetration offences involving a minor below 16.