Ex-teacher gets jail, caning for molesting girl

SINGAPORE - During a weekend tuition class, a teacher asked one of the pupils to go to the back of the classroom to do some reading.

There, he made the eight-year-old girl stand next to him and touched her private parts through her underwear - while the other pupils continued with their work.

Yesterday, the former primary school teacher, 27, was sentenced to one year in jail and three strokes of the cane, after pleading guilty to molesting the child on Oct 19.

The court heard that the incident took place between 9.15am and 12.15pm, during a weekly tuition class at a primary school in Jurong.

The girl was initially too scared to say what had happened. She finally told her mother about two weeks later, when asked why she did not want to continue attending the class.

It is understood that the offender, then employed by the Ministry of Education (MOE), conducted the classes in addition to his regular duties, under a scheme run by a self-help group.

Handing down the sentence yesterday, District Judge Tan Boon Heng considered factors such as the victim's "tender" age and that the offender was a qualified MOE teacher at the time. He said that a stiff sentence was required not only to deter both the man and like-minded people from committing such offences, but also to rehabilitate him, given his relatively youthful age.

For outraging the modesty of a person under the age of 14, the former teacher could have been jailed for up to five years, caned and fined.

This article by The Straits Times was published in MyPaper, a free, bilingual newspaper published by Singapore Press Holdings.

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