Ex-tutor jailed 12 months for sex with boy, 15

Former school teacher got to know teen on mobile chat app and had sex on first meeting

A former tuition teacher, who had sex with a 15-year-old student shortly after getting to know him via a mobile chat application, was jailed for 12 months yesterday.

Liew Kin Wah, 46, was working at a learning centre when he committed three offences of sexual penetration of a minor and one of an indecent act with a child at his home in Woodlands on Feb 27 last year.

He pleaded guilty to two counts of sexual penetration; the remaining charges were taken into consideration in sentencing.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said the schoolboy and Liew, now unemployed, got to know each other last year via mobile chat application Scruff.

Liew initiated the chat. After chatting for a while, they decided to meet on Feb 27, arranging to meet at Woodlands MRT station after the victim finished school. They then went to Liew's home where they performed sex acts on each other.

The incident came to light when the boy's mother found out about his activities while looking through his mobile phone.

On May 20 last year, she took him to make a police report. The boy stated that he had had sex with several unknown males since 2013.

A senior consultant from the Institute of Mental Health said the boy was sexually attracted to both girls and boys upon reaching puberty.

At 13, he had a sexual relationship with a male. After they broke up, he got involved with four other males at different times.

The doctor felt the boy was confused about his sexual identity and would benefit from psychological counselling.

Liew's lawyer, Mr Amolat Singh, said there were no special aggravating factors, and everything happened on one afternoon. The court agreed.

He said in his mitigation plea that Liew, who obtained a bachelor of science degree through an open university programme, was a school teacher for about 20 years before he joined the learning centre. He left in May last year, and drove a taxi for about six months.

He said Liew was responsible and dedicated and had good work ethics. He was remorseful and gave a solemn and sincere undertaking never again to get into any trouble, said Mr Singh. He also said Liew has stayed away from the chat website and other similar apps.

The maximum punishment for the offence is 10 years in jail and a fine.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on May 27, 2016, with the headline 'Ex-tutor jailed 12 months for sex with boy, 15'. Print Edition | Subscribe