A TEACHER began courting his student when she was 13 and had a sexual relationship with her for about five years.
They had sex in hotel rooms, rented cars and at her home where he was a tenant, a district court heard yesterday. He secretly filmed the girl showering and their sexual trysts as well.
She discovered the videos in his mobile phone only when he agreed to move out in 2013, and made a police report in August that year.
Now 42, the accused, a divorcee with two teenage children, was 30 when he first had sex with the girl in 2003. He cannot be named due to a gag order.
He admitted yesterday to six charges, including two of carnal connection with a girl below 16. Another 36 charges will be taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Timotheus Koh said the accused became close to the girl when he gave her free tuition in history in 2003.
He courted her and got her to help him mark papers. He told her that he loved her, convinced her that they could be in a relationship and paid for all her expenses.
In March to April of 2004, he rented a room from her mother, who was in financial difficulties, as he was undergoing divorce proceedings and had nowhere to stay. DPP Koh said the pair had numerous sexual encounters between 2003 and 2007.
She had tried to end the relationship in 2006 but only succeeded in 2008. However, he continued to live in the flat until the middle of 2013.
In July 2013, the victim and her mother asked him to move out so that the girl's brother could move in after his marriage. The girl was making a check when she discovered the video recordings. The man had also taken two videos of the girl's mother in the shower.
Defence lawyer Leslie Gregory Robert said in mitigation that this was not a run-of-the-mill sexual predator case. "My client genuinely was in love with her," he said.
In an e-mail the victim, now 25, sent to his client, she said she had not regretted meeting him and appreciated all he had done for her.
"We learn from mistakes... Keep your eyes and options open, find a proper partner," she wrote.
DPP Koh is seeking a total of five to seven years' jail, saying the accused had grievously breached the trust and confidence placed on him by not only the victim but also her mother and the school.
"The accused had actively courted the victim, knowing full well that she was not only underage but was also his student. He had clearly crossed the line," he said.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam will sentence him on Dec 30.
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