SINGAPORE - Former Straits Times journalist Eisen Teo Guan Kuan was 27 and recently married when he pursued a 15-year-old student and eventually had sex with her.
District Judge Hamidah Ibrahim sentenced him to 18 months' jail yesterday after hearing how he preyed on the teen's immaturity and vulnerability, and exploited their emotional relationship.
The judge also rebuked him for his audacity in having sex with the girl in his home while his wife was just metres away, baking in the kitchen.
Teo, a Singapore Press Holdings scholarship recipient with a first-class honours degree from the National University of Singapore, admitted that he had oral sex with the girl in a public toilet at Fort Canning Park in 2012.
He also admitted that he had sex with her in June that year at the Serangoon Avenue 1 flat he shared with his wife. The girl was a virgin at the time.
Then, Teo worked at The Straits Times' Schools section, which puts out publications for primary and secondary schools and runs a media club.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong Wei-Zhen told the court yesterday that part of his job was to mentor student journalists in the media club.
The victim was 14 years old when she joined the club and met Teo in 2011. He took a special interest in her after learning from her blog that she suffered from depression, said Ms Chong.
The girl began confiding in him and they later began meeting regularly as a couple.
They communicated mainly via WhatsApp, but Teo's messages to her soon grew increasingly sexual in nature, said Ms Chong.
The judge, who took into consideration a third charge against Teo, said he clearly took advantage of a young, immature and vulnerable person from "a position of trust and authority".
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