Ex-teacher with criminal record of sex offences involving underage boys admits to new charges

SINGAPORE - A former primary school teacher with a criminal record involving sex and underage boys committed a string of offences after his last release from prison.

Chock Soon Seng, now 43, pleaded guilty in a district court on Monday (March 15) to four counts of sexual penetration involving two of three underage boys he had met in 2018 and 2019.

Fourteen other charges involving the teenagers and the third victim will be considered during sentencing.

Chock was first sentenced to 10 months' jail in 2010 after he tried to persuade two 13-year-old boys to let him watch them perform a sexual act.

In 2014, the Singaporean was sentenced to three years' jail for offences including sexually abusing a 14-year-old boy and threatening to put his naked pictures online.

Chock, who is now in remand, was working as a freelance tutor at the time of his latest offences.

The court heard that his first victim, a 15-year-old boy, had in 2018 posted an advertisement on online classifieds website Locanto indicating that he was interested in looking for women.

Chock responded to the ad in April that year, and the teenager told him that he was not a homosexual.

But Chock persuaded him to "experiment" and said it was "normal for straight men to perform sexual acts on one another".

In their court documents, Deputy Public Prosecutors Chin Jincheng and Chong Yong said Chock made no attempts to verify the teenager's age and instead, offered to pay him for sexual acts.

Chock continued to persuade the boy and was allowed to go to the teenager's home on April 23, 2018, where they performed oral sex on each other. He later gave the boy an unspecified amount of cash and left.

The prosecutors said: "The cash was less than what had been agreed upon and the accused informed (the victim) that he had yet to receive his salary."

Chock continued to pester the boy, saying he wanted to meet again for more sexual activities but the minor replied that he was not interested.

He then promised to pay the boy if he agreed to a second meeting.

The teenager relented and they performed sexual acts on each other at the boy's home on May 11, 2018.

He blocked Chock on WhatsApp after this second meeting.

Chock met the second victim, a 13-year-old boy, through gay dating app Grindr in 2018 and the teenager told him that he was a Primary 6 pupil.

The pair met on April 15 that year and they performed oral sex on each other at a staircase landing of a multi-storey carpark.

They met again two days later and they performed similar acts in a toilet cubicle at Punggol Community Club.

Chock's offences came to light in June 2019 when the boy's mother found some sex-related conversations on her son's mobile phone. She alerted the police and officers arrested Chock soon after.

On Monday, District Judge John Ng called for reports to assess Chock's suitability for corrective training and preventive detention.

Both corrective training and preventive detention are for repeat offenders. They do not offer the usual one-third remission for good behaviour.

Corrective training is usually imposed when the court finds that the offender needs a substantial period of training for reformation and the prevention of crime. The maximum period for corrective training is 14 years.

In preventive detention, a repeat offender aged over 30 receives a substantial period of imprisonment to protect the public. The detention order can last for up to 20 years.

Chock will be sentenced on April 9.