SINGAPORE - A primary-school teacher, accused of molesting four male pupils, is claiming that his statements to the police during investigations had not been made voluntarily.
The trial of the 33-year-old began yesterday over two of the eight charges he faces. The two charges involve the same 12-year-old boy, who was part of a uniformed group in which the accused was a teacher-in-charge.
In March last year, when he was preparing the group of Primary 6 boys for a competition, the teacher gave the pupil make-up training - at his workstation in the school staffroom - on how to tie knots.
That was when the teacher allegedly hugged and kissed the pupil, now 13.
The same thing allegedly happened about two weeks later in an equipment storeroom, after the two and another pupil went shopping for competition supplies.
Back in school to pack the purchases, the teacher allegedly hugged and kissed the boy again while they were getting items from the storeroom, this time putting his tongue into the pupil's mouth.
The penalty for outraging the modesty of someone under the age of 14 is a jail term of five years, a fine or caning, or a combination of the above.
The man, who has been interdicted from his duties with the school, is also accused of hugging and kissing the other three boys, and touching the genitals of one of them, between 2011 and last year.
The bachelor, understood to be a mother-tongue teacher at the school in the west, cannot be named to protect the identities of his alleged victims, who were then aged between 10 and 12.
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