Alleged victim lied about sex, sleeping arrangement: Lawyer

Court told boy couldn't enter gym where teacher is accused of abuse

The lawyer for a vice-principal accused of sexual offences claimed yesterday that no such acts could have taken place at the primary school gym, as the alleged victim could not have entered it without a pass.

The lawyer also said that contrary to what the alleged victim claimed, he did not have to share a room with the older man in the years that he lived at the flat of the vice-principal, who was his guardian.

The alleged victim, who is now 29, made a police report against the vice-principal in 2015, claiming that the older man had subjected him to sexual acts from the days when he was a primary school pupil here.

Earlier this week, he told the court that while he was in primary school in 2003, the vice-principal, now 55, told him to go to the school gym and committed a sexual act on him there.

But the defence lawyer, Mr T.M. Sinnadurai, said that this did not take place and that pupils could not enter the gym without a pass that only staff were given.

When the alleged victim replied that the vice-principal had given him his pass, the lawyer told the court that staff were prohibited from doing this.

The younger man also testified earlier this week that when he went to the vice-principal's Woodlands flat for private tuition in 2004 when he was in Primary 6, the older man committed sexual acts on him in his bedroom.

Mr Sinnadurai said that according to his client, the boy was not allowed to enter the bedroom at that time as the vice-principal's confidential work-related materials were in it.

Mr Sinnadurai added that the boy had his own room when he lived in the flat from late 2004 until 2013.

However, the younger man had told the court that he shared the same bed as the vice-principal, who was also his guardian at the time.

When the lawyer suggested to the younger man that he had wrongly accused the vice-principal of making sexual advances in the flat, the alleged victim replied: "I disagree."

Mr Sinnadurai also asked the alleged victim why he had not sought help from counsellors at the primary school if he was being sexually abused.

The man replied: "I didn't feel comfortable to go for counselling at the school at that time as (the vice-principal) was a respectable figure there. I doubt that the counsellors would believe me."

On Tuesday, he had also testified that he had not wanted to inform the police about the case at first.

He said that he had treated the vice-principal's parents as his own grandparents and felt responsible towards them.

It was only after he tried to settle the issue with the vice-principal, who accused him of extortion, that he made the police report, he said.

The trial resumes today.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 29, 2018, with the headline 'Alleged victim lied about sex, sleeping arrangement: Lawyer'. Print Edition | Subscribe