Teacher pleads guilty to raping underage student

Teacher pleads guilty to raping underage student

An education officer is scheduled to be sentenced next month after he pleaded guilty to raping a 14-year-old girl, in what was described as the first reported case of a teacher raping a student in school.

The victim, Miss X, was the defendant's student at a school in Tutong between 2012 and 2013 when the offences were committed.

The court document submitted by the prosecution stated that some time in November 2012, the 49-year-old defendant had been texting Miss X when he invited her to his room and showed her an adult video.

The defendant then asked Miss X if she wanted to have sex, to which the victim refused.

In May 2013, the defendant and Miss X had their first sexual intercourse when he asked Miss X to come into his room that afternoon. The defendant showed her an adult video and made advances on her, but he was refused.

The two eventually had sexual intercourse as Miss X was scared and did not fight back due to fatigue after badminton practice at school.

Since then, the defendant had sexual intercourse on a consensual basis with Miss X on two other occasions at the school's premises, on the defendant's birthday and on August 27, 2013.

The defendant also gave gifts to Miss X such as sports shirts, chocolate and top-up credit for her phone. He also gave her a present on Miss X's birthday last year.

Investigations by the Women and Children Abuse Investigation Unit revealed that the defendant met Miss X for the purpose of having sex with her.

At the High Court yesterday, Defence Counsel Mohd Shazale Salleh is seeking the court to impose a concurrent jail term and the whippings to be non-cumulative on the grounds of his client pleading guilty; previous good character and delay.

Mohd Shazale said the defendant had been a teacher for more than 20 years prior to his incarceration.

He went on to say that as the senior teacher at the school, he took on responsibilities such as student welfare, securing financial assistance and dealing with students who have taken ill. He also has expertise in special education.

The defendant was also active in many social and community works, including being part of the Parent Teacher Association, the village consultative council there as well as a member of the Mosque Takmir committee.

Mohd Shazale told the court that his client's conviction will tarnish his reputation among the community and the defendant will also lose his job and the benefits that come with it.

He went on to say that the defendant, who will be turning 50 in two weeks, would find it difficult to find employment and this could cause financial hardship to his family.

The defence counsel said based on his previous good character, the defendant's action was "a lapse of judgement on his part" and that he should have known better.

Despite the huge age gap, Mohd Shazale said the defendant and the victim were lovers and they were attracted to each other.

In response to the defendant's action, Deputy Public Prosecutor Nina Jasmine PKLDR Pg Hj Bahrin said the accused was attempting to lay some blame to the victim when in fact, the defendant was "sexually grooming" the victim by showing her adult videos, invited her to his room and gave her gifts.

While the prosecution conceded that the sex was consensual, the deputy public prosecutor cited a case which states that a 16-year-old consenting to sex is not valid on grounds that they lack the maturity or the sexual experience to make the decision.

The prosecution further urged the court to consider the sentencing guideline set in a Singaporean case on unlawful carnal knowledge charge whereby there is a presence of aggravating factor as this was a teacher and pupil relationship and the victim was a child aged under 14.

The defendant has been placed at the custody of Jerudong Prison pending the sentencing on July 8.

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