A PHYSICS teacher who had oral sex with a 14-year-old boy he met online managed to get his original 25-month jail term cut by half.
Chief Justice Sundaresh Menon yesterday reduced the prison time to a year, ruling that it was a "just sentence" for the 38-year-old.
He said this did not mean the case was being treated lightly. Rather, it should not be treated more harshly than other such cases.
CJ Menon explained that he did not see any aggravating factors in the teacher's case. There was no evidence that the man had pressured, threatened, coerced or used violence on the boy or abused any position of authority.
He rejected the prosecution's arguments that the age disparity and the fact that the man had used the Internet made the offence worse. There were cases in which even older men were given shorter jail terms.
And beyond the fact that the accused befriended the boy on Facebook, there was nothing to suggest he used the Internet to lure the minor to have sex with him.
In November 2012, the teacher befriended the boy online, introducing himself as a 19-year-old living alone. The next month, he took the boy to his mother's flat, went out for dinner and returned. At midnight, he performed oral sex on the boy.
The teacher was suspended from his job after being charged. Last July, he was jailed for 25 months after pleading guilty to two charges of committing an obscene act with a young person and one charge of having sex with a minor under 16.
Three other charges, including possession of obscene films, were taken into consideration.
Yesterday, the teacher, who argued his own case, also tried to get back the laptop that had been seized by police, arguing that it should be returned after the obscene films were deleted.
He said the laptop contained notes for a textbook he wanted to publish.
CJ Menon turned down his request but told the prosecution to liaise with him to return him the files he wanted.
This article was first published on Feb 06, 2015.
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