Teacher pleads guilty to committing indecent acts on 13-year-old student

A 42-year-old primary school teacher pleaded guilty on Wednesday to committing indecent acts on a 13-year-old student by kissing him on the lips and giving him love bites on his neck and shoulder.

The teacher, who was seven years older than the boy's mother, had gone out on dates with him. She cannot be named as it could lead to the identification of the victim, who is a minor.

A district court heard that in early 2012, the boy, who was then in primary six, got to know the teacher as her son was in the same football team as he was. She was also in charge of the Malay dance course that was attended by his two sisters.

Soon, the victim and his siblings became friendly with the teacher and her four children. The teacher and the victim would also chat on the Facebook social networking website.

In late October 2012, the victim left home in his school uniform but changed his clothes before meeting her for breakfast at the McDonald's outlet at Nanyang Technological University. They then took a bus to a nearby park. There, she gave him a love bite on his shoulder. She also kissed him on his lips and put her tongue in his mouth. They then watched a movie at Clementi Mall before parting ways.

On Oct 31, they were at Botanical Gardens, where she kissed him on the lips again. The next day, they went to Sentosa where she kissed him and also gave him a love bite on his shoulder. On Nov 13, they went to the Botanical Gardens again, where they kissed and she gave him a love bite on his neck.

His 35-year-old mother spotted the love bite the next day. When confronted by his parents, he spilled the beans.

The parents informed the school and got their son to lodge a police report. The teacher was suspended, and charged in court.

Asking for an appropriate jail sentence, Deputy Public Prosecutor Santhra Aiyyasamy said that the teacher had built a relationship with the student and had taken advantage of him when he played truant.

"Sexual exploitation of such young victims is completely unacceptable," she added.

Defence counsel Peter Fernando asked the court to consider placing the teacher on probation instead, saying that his client had been suffering from a major depressive disorder when she committed the offences and that she is now coping well with treatment.

Her husband and other family members were in court and were seen trying to console her after the hearing.

She will be sentenced on Feb 19.

The maximum penalty for such offences is a $10,000 fine and a five-year jail term.

khush@sph.com.sg

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