Sex-for-grades case takes a surprising turn

Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre on Oct 5, 2013, after the electronic tag, which he was required to wear as part of the home detention order, was removed. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving Selarang Park Community Supervision Centre on Oct 5, 2013, after the electronic tag, which he was required to wear as part of the home detention order, was removed. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the Subordinate Courts on June 26, 2013, to begin his five-month jail term for corruption. -- ST FILE PHOTO: KEVIN LIM CP
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang blowing a goodbye kiss to his colleagues to thank them for their support as he left the Subordinate Courts. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang blowing a goodbye kiss to his colleagues to thank them for their support as he left the Subordinate Courts. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
A crowd follows former law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside the Subordinate Courts on June 3, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
A crowd follows former law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside the Subordinate Courts on June 3, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: ASHLEIGH SIM
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang, seen here leaving the Subordinate Court with lawyer Yang Sara, was convicted on May 28, 2013, of all six counts of corruptly accepting sex and gifts from his student at the National University of Singapore in return for g
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang, seen here leaving the Subordinate Court with lawyer Yang Sara, was convicted on May 28, 2013, of all six counts of corruptly accepting sex and gifts from his student at the National University of Singapore in return for giving her better grades. -- ST FILE PHOTO: LAU FOOK KONG
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang was convicted on May 28, 2013, of all six counts of corruptly accepting sex and gifts from his student at the National University of Singapore in return for giving her better grades. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang was convicted on May 28, 2013, of all six counts of corruptly accepting sex and gifts from his student at the National University of Singapore in return for giving her better grades. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GAVIN FOO
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang (left) arriving at the Subordinate Court on May 14, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang (left) arriving at the Subordinate Court on May 14, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CAROLINE CHIA
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside court on May 7, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside court on May 7, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
Tey Tsun Hang outside the court on April 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Tey Tsun Hang outside the court on April 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: CHEW SENG KIM
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the court for his corruption trial on April 12, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at the court for his corruption trial on April 12, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tey Tsun Hang arrives at court on April 5, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tey Tsun Hang arrives at court on April 5, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the Subordinate Courts on April 1, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the Subordinate Courts on April 1, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang at the Subordinate Courts on April 3, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang at the Subordinate Courts on April 3, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the Subordinate Court on Jan 21, 2013, on Day 8 of his sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the Subordinate Court on Jan 21, 2013, on Day 8 of his sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: NURIA LING
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving in court on Jan 17, 2013, on Day 6 of his sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving in court on Jan 17, 2013, on Day 6 of his sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Former National University of Singapore law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at court on Jan 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Former National University of Singapore law professor Tey Tsun Hang arriving at court on Jan 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the court on Day 3 of his sex-for-grades trial on Jan 14, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: EDWARD TEO
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang leaving the court on Day 3 of his sex-for-grades trial on Jan 14, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: EDWARD TEO
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside the Subordinate Courts on Jan 14, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Former law professor Tey Tsun Hang outside the Subordinate Courts on Jan 14, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Tey Tsun Hang (left, holding an umbrella and a suitcase) leaving the court, after the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tey Tsun Hang (left, holding an umbrella and a suitcase) leaving the court, after the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang (front) arriving at the Subordinate Court with his lawyers on Aug 3, 2012. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang (front) arriving at the Subordinate Court with his lawyers on Aug 3, 2012. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang (front) at the Subordinate Court on Aug 3, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang (front) at the Subordinate Court on Aug 3, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang addresses the crowd of reporters outside the courtroom on July 27, 2012. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
National University of Singapore law professor and former district judge Tey Tsun Hang addresses the crowd of reporters outside the courtroom on July 27, 2012. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Tey Tsun Hang, a lecturer in the law faculty at the National University of Singapore, was charged in court on July 27, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
Tey Tsun Hang, a lecturer in the law faculty at the National University of Singapore, was charged in court on July 27, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: GARY GOH
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang and Ms Chen Sei Lee at the lobby of Regent Grove, a condominium at Choa Chu Kang on July 24, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Law professor Tey Tsun Hang and Ms Chen Sei Lee at the lobby of Regent Grove, a condominium at Choa Chu Kang on July 24, 2012. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: KELVIN CHNG
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui (second from left) leaving court with CPIB officers after testifying as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui (second from left) leaving court with CPIB officers after testifying as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui leaving court after testifying as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui leaving court after testifying as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Miss Darinne Ko Wen Hui arriving at court on Jan 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Miss Darinne Ko Wen Hui arriving at court on Jan 15, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui arriving at the Subordinate Courts on Jan 14, 2013, the third day of the sex-for-grades corruption trial involving law professor Tey Tsun Hang. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui arriving at the Subordinate Courts on Jan 14, 2013, the third day of the sex-for-grades corruption trial involving law professor Tey Tsun Hang. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui arrives at the Subordinate Courts with her lawyer on Jan 11, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui arrives at the Subordinate Courts with her lawyer on Jan 11, 2013. -- ST FILE PHOTO: WONG KWAI CHOW
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui outside court to testify as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui outside court to testify as a prosecution witness in the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- FILE PHOTO: LIANHE ZAOBAO
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui leaving the court after testifying as a prosecution witness on Day 1 of the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui leaving the court after testifying as a prosecution witness on Day 1 of the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui (second from left) leaving the court after testifying as a prosecution witness on Day 1 of the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR
Ms Darinne Ko Wen Hui (second from left) leaving the court after testifying as a prosecution witness on Day 1 of the sex-for-grades trial on Jan 10, 2013. -- TNP FILE PHOTO: BENJAMIN SEETOR

For love or for grades?

The high-profile sex-for-grades case involving former National University of Singapore (NUS) law professor Tey Tsun Hang and his ex-student Darinne Ko took a surprising turn on Friday when the High Court acquitted him of corruption, after he had served a five-month jail term.

We look back at the case which had kept many riveted with risque details of their trysts, and surprising acts by Mr Tey during the lengthy trial.

* April 2012: Mr Tey, 42, was arrested after Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau (CPIB) officers received a complaint that Miss Ko allegedly received favourable grades from him.

* July 2012: Mr Tey was charged with six counts of corruptly obtaining sex and gifts from Miss Ko, who was 21 years old then, between May and July 2010.

Miss Ko, who had a boyfriend then, lost her virginity to Mr Tey on a couch in his NUS law school office on July 21, 2010. They had sex again there four days later, on the eve of her 21st birthday. She later became pregnant but was told by Mr Tey to get an abortion and pay for it herself.

He also received gifts from Miss Ko, which included a $740 Montblanc pen, two tailored shirts worth $236.20, a $160 iPod touch, and a dinner at Garibaldi Italian Restaurant & Bar costing $1,278.60.

* January 2013: Trial began, with the star prosecution witness, Miss Ko, taking the stand on opening day.

* Defence’s case:

Mr Tey, a former district judge, conducted his own defence, and initially did so wearing a black robe usually worn by lawyers in High Court hearings.

Mr Tey, who is married to a Japanese and has a daughter, said he was in a “mutually loving romantic relationship” with Miss Ko, and that the gifts and sex were par for the course.

Mr Tey also insisted that the statements he gave to CPIB officers had been made under duress and should not be admitted. In court, he sometimes re-enacted the threats by banging tables and repeating the expletives he claimed CPIB officers had said to him.

During the trial, he also stunned the court when he was seen crying, breathing heavily and retching what appeared to be saliva into a plastic bag on two occasions. The latter episode led to a two-week adjournment of the case.

* Prosecution’s case:

The prosecution argued that Mr Tey abused his professional position for personal gain, and that Miss Ko was baited into buying him the gifts and tricked into having sex with him.

Miss Ko first met Mr Tey in January 2010 when she enrolled in his equity and trusts class. Their relationship had been “professional”, she said in court, but blossomed after she started helping him in May that year with his research project for a book.

To thank her for the 80 hours of work she had put in, he took her out to lunch and they had a long chat which made her feel that they had a “connection”. The two then started dating.

She tried to end the relationship after her boyfriend and parents found out about it, but soon resumed the relationship secretly because she missed him too much.

The prosecution, however, argued it was not real love on Mr Tey’s part.

When Miss Ko discovered she was pregnant and told Mr Tey about the baby, she was told by him to abort it. He also claimed to have no money to pay for the abortion. In the end, Miss Ko paid for the abortion, even though she was just a student and Mr Tey was drawing a comfortable salary of $225,000.

 

* May 2013: He was found guilty, NUS terminated his appointment with immediate effect. Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye, who rejected Mr Tey’s defence, said it was “love with an ulterior motive”.

* June 2013: Mr Tey was sentenced to five months' jail. He started serving his sentence.

* July 2013: Even as he was serving time, he was still fighting to prove his innocence. He instructed his lawyers to file appeals against his conviction and jail sentence.

* September 2013: He was given permission to serve out his jail term on home detention.

* October 2013: He was granted release from his jail term for good behaviour.

* Feb 28, 2014: The High Court acquitted him of corruption. Justice Woo Bih Li ruled that Miss Ko was in love with Mr Tey at the time, and that she was not trying to get better grades in return for having sex with him and showering him with gifts.

But the judge had strong words for the ex-professor, saying that he was “a man without honour”, and that he had abused his position as a lecturer.