Ex-teacher found guilty of having sex with underage student

A former secondary school teacher, who developed a romantic relationship with his 15-year-old student and impregnated her, was found guilty of sexual penetration of a minor yesterday.

The 41-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the girl's identity, was convicted of 19 counts of sexual penetration, which occurred at his house on 10 occasions in August and September 2015.

The man had taught the teenage girl science and then physics for all four years of her secondary school education from 2012 to 2015. She is now 19 years old and has a two-year-old child fathered by the man.

In December 2013, he began giving the girl private physics tuition at his house on Saturdays with another student, and this continued until she completed her O-level examinations in November 2015.

During the school holidays in June 2015, he invited her to his house outside of the tuition sessions, where they would talk and he would play songs he had composed.

Some time in July that year, he told her that he liked her and she agreed to be in a relationship with him. They hid their relationship by making sure that his mother was not at home when the girl came to his house and that she was not seen by the neighbours.

 
 
 

He soon became physically intimate with her by kissing and hugging her, and engaging in heavy petting while they were clothed. On Aug 10, he had penetrative sex with her for the first time.

Their intimate relationship continued until the girl ended it around September to October 2016, when she entered polytechnic.

In November that year, she discovered she was 16 weeks pregnant and informed him in a text message.

The following month, after telling her family about the pregnancy, the girl lodged a police report.

While the man admitted to initiating the relationship, he denied engaging in penetrative sexual activity with the girl before her 16th birthday. He said that their physical intimacy had developed slowly and was restricted to kissing, touching and rubbing each other with only their underwear on.

However, in WhatsApp messages between the two after Aug 10, 2015, he had described their physical acts as "deeper penetration". He had also written that "there is a sense of when to get it out" in a message when she told him she was worried about getting pregnant.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said that he accepted the victim's testimony, as it was consistent and supported by the text messages she exchanged with the man.

The man is expected back in court on Aug 29 for sentencing. For each count of sexual penetration of a minor, he could be jailed for up to 10 years, fined or both.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 01, 2019, with the headline 'Ex-teacher found guilty of having sex with underage student'. Print Edition | Subscribe