10 weeks' jail for man who molested boy in school where he worked as lab technician

SINGAPORE- A man was working as a laboratory technician at a secondary school when he hugged a male student from behind and kissed the 13-year-old boy's cheek.

The 33-year-old offender was on Friday (June 24) sentenced to 10 weeks' jail after he pleaded guilty to a molestation charge.

Details about the man and the school cannot be disclosed owing to a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

The Ministry of Education said in an earlier statement that the man had been suspended since October 2019.

He started working at the school in 2013 and got to know the boy in 2018 when he was in Secondary 1.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Lee Zu Zhao said the student would then approach the technician for help in his school work.

The DPP added: "Sometime between January and June 2019, while the victim was doing his schoolwork alone with the accused in the science laboratory located on the second floor of (the school), the accused approached the victim from behind, and hugged the victim before giving the victim a kiss on the cheek without the victim's consent."

Court documents do not state how the boy reacted to this, but the matter came to light in October that year when the school management started noticing several instances where the man was not keeping a professional distance from the students.

They then looked into the victim's interactions with the man.

It was not mentioned in court documents how the school management came to know about the pair's interactions.

On Oct 24, 2019, the boy made a police report, stating that the man had molested him earlier that year.

DPP Lee had urged the court to sentence the man to between 10 and 12 weeks' jail.

He said that students had regarded the man as someone who was "either on par with a teacher or was an assistant to teachers".

The prosecutor told District Judge Lim Wee Ming that the students had also seen the man as a person they could trust, adding: "He had abused and taken advantage of this trust to touch the victim inappropriately for his own satisfaction."

On Friday, the man was offered bail of $15,000 and was ordered to surrender himself at the State Courts on July 15 to begin serving his sentence.

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