To those who knew him, Kuang Liang Yong was a married secondary school teacher with two young children.
But behind that respectable facade lurked a sexual predator who set out to snare naive young girls.
He took on different personas and spun a web of lies to flatter them or gain their sympathy so that he could sexually exploit them.
And he was patient and persistent.
To manipulate a 13-year-old girl into sending him 57 nude photos and videos of herself, he kept in touch with her for almost two years while pretending to be an accident victim with erectile dysfunction.
When he later turned his sights on a Primary 6 schoolgirl, who was his daughter's schoolmate, he pretended to be a boy the same age as her.
He never met his two victims, relying only on text messages to communicate with them.
Kuang's devious deeds came to light when the second girl's father made a police report after finding out about his text messages to her.
His mobile phone was later found to contain evidence that incriminated him over the sexual exploitation of his first victim.
Yesterday, Kuang, 47, was jailed for 22 months after he pleaded guilty last month to three charges of getting a minor to commit an indecent act under the Children And Young Persons Act, and one count under the Protection From Harassment Act.
Kuang, who resigned from his teaching post at Admiralty Secondary School after his arrest, was also fined $500 for disorderly behaviour towards a police officer at his home.
Court papers said Kuang met his first victim, who cannot be named because of a gag order, in early 2012 while he was with his wife and two children at Sun Plaza shopping centre in Sembawang.
After overhearing her tell the counter staff she had lost her mobile phone, Kuang approached her to offer his phone so she could call hers.
But his true intention was to get her phone number.
After his arrest, he told the authorities that he found her adorable and had taken a liking to her, despite knowing that she was only 13.
Between February 2012 and December 2013, Kuang communicated with her via WhatsApp using the moniker "Sean Romeo".
The chat log between them was so long that it totalled more than 400 pages, the court heard.
When he first contacted her, he lied that he had got her number and name from her friends, and claimed he was interested in her.
He would chat with her about sex, telling her things like: "I want you to make love with me, forever..."
While she said she had not even kissed a boy and intended to remain a virgin until marriage, Kuang suggested that she do sexually explicit acts, such as send him nude photos or videos of herself in the shower.
In August 2012, he lied that a road accident had left him with erectile dysfunction and depression.
He peppered her with messages - often lengthy ones - and their conversations grew more explicit.
At some point, he told the girl that a doctor said he needed to look at photographs of young girls - particularly aged 12 to 16 - regularly to recover from his erectile dysfunction.
She finally relented and sent him 57 nude photographs of herself and videos of her doing sexual acts, despite being uncomfortable while doing so.
In return, he told her that he considered her his girlfriend and wife from the day she started sending him these obscene materials.
In time, she became frustrated because she knew nothing about him.
She even visited the address where "Sean Romeo" lived, only to be told there was no such person.
Distressed and heartbroken, she contacted Kuang and threatened to cut herself with penknives.
The last time Kuang contacted her was on Christmas Day in 2013, when he asked her for the phone numbers of three of her female friends.
She refused, and Kuang stopped texting her, even though she sporadically messaged him to tell him that she missed him and hoped to speak to him again.
Two years later, his lust had found a new target, which would prove to be his downfall.
When The New Paper went to his Admiralty Drive HDB flat yesterday afternoon, no one answered the door.
A neighbour, who declined to be named, said: "He's always very friendly, very polite... He seemed an okay person. Every time I see him with his wife and two children, they were very nice to everyone."
She said Kuang told her he had stopped teaching, citing health issues, about two months ago.
"I'm just shocked," she said.
Second victim was daughter's schoolmate
Two years after sexually exploiting a girl, Kuang Liang Yong turned his attention to a second victim.
None of the victims can be named due to a gag order.
In August last year, he obtained his second victim's phone number from social networking platform Ask.fm after she replied to a question he had posted.
Kuang went through her social media profile and discovered that she attended the same primary school as his daughter.
He had seen the girl a few times when he picked his daughter up from school.
Masquerading as a Primary 6 pupil, he contacted the girl via WhatsApp, using the moniker "Guardian Angel".
Between August and September last year, Kuang persistently sent the girl lengthy text messages, telling her she was very pretty and that he loved her. He would text her throughout the day, even in the early hours of the morning.
If she did not reply, he would lie to her that he was "on the verge of breaking down", was heartbroken, or feeling "worse than death itself".
He also kept an eye out for her whenever he took his daughter to and from school.
On Aug 27, he texted her, indicating that he might have been stalking her: "Juz reached home? Todae u took longer than usual cos u left with (a friend) around 10.43am or something like that."
The girl was uncomfortable with his messages because she did not know who he was.
Her father found out about Kuang's text messages and called Kuang's number. When he heard a man answering the call, he was worried about his daughter's safety.
He made a police report on Sept 6 last year and two officers went to Kuang's HDB flat 10 days later. When one of them asked for his mobile phone, Kuang became hostile and started shouting. He was arrested, and his phone was seized.
Excerpts of what he said
TO THE FIRST VICTIM:
AUG 26, 2012:
"I can't walk right now... neither could I talk... Only the girl who genuinely loves me and is loved by me can help me... by showing me her sexy or nude pictures of herself."
(A few sentences later)
"I'm a useless man... Can't talk with u, can't walk or run with u, can't protect u... and more importantly, can't even make love with u... how to tell u that I love u when I can't even."
(A few more sentences later)
"Remember u told me u were ready and can send me your pics bathing in the bathroom yesterday afternoon? I was so happy cos that shows how much u love me and how important I am to u."
SEPT 12, 2012:
"I already lost my voice, my ability to walk (and) ability to have sex... If u don't even want to text me... I rather die... No point no hope... Everything lost..."
JUNE 20, 2013:
"U said u can help n send me pics n video everyday. Perhaps u have sent n I did not receive ba. Haiz... Poor me still thinking got gal waiting for me to erect so can make love one day."
TO THE SECOND VICTIM:
AUG 29, 2015:
"U were initially wearing a PE shirt n blouse n I guess it got too warm and uncomfortable for u n u decide to just go with your shorts. U were still as stunning as ever. Though your sweat trickled down your chin, u still easily stood out as the most sporty and pretty gal amongst your group of friends."
SEPT 2, 2015:
"I was like behind the wall where u stood waiting for ur parents juz now… silly me right?"The New Paper photo illustration
Judge: He exploited naive young girl
He was a middle-aged secondary school teacher who masqueraded as someone else to sexually exploit a naive and ingenuous young girl.
That was how District Judge Terence Tay described ex-teacher Kuang Liang Yong during sentencing yesterday.
He said Kuang had persuaded his first victim, who said she had never kissed a boy before, to photograph or take a video of herself doing explicit sexual acts so he could satisfy his sexual appetite.
He also said he was particularly disturbed that Kuang had tried to broaden his sphere of influence by asking the victim for the phone numbers of three other young girls.
As for the second victim, the judge said the facts clearly demonstrate the premeditation and deliberate intent of Kuang's actions, and a jail term was warranted.
He rejected the defence's plea for Kuang to be placed on a mandatory treatment order.
Earlier, Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong had called for Kuang to be jailed for more than 20 months.
She said he had embarked on a sustained campaign of deception and emotional manipulation in order to elicit the first victim's sympathy.
She added that the offence would have been difficult to detect if Kuang had not been nabbed for stalking the second victim.
A Ministry of Education (MOE) spokesman said yesterday that the ministry takes a serious view of misconduct by educators, who are held to high professional standards.
The spokesman, who was replying to The New Paper's queries, added that anyone involved in serious misconduct would not be allowed to remain in service.
"We have a stringent selection regime for teachers. We also have regular platforms to emphasise our high expectations. The ministry works closely with schools to safeguard the well-being of our students," he said.
The spokesman added that only a very small minority of the teaching force had fallen short of the expected standards.
This article was first published on October 08, 2016. Get The New Paper for more stories.