School vice-principal guilty of sexually exploiting minor

Offences began when victim was 14 and lasted three years

A primary school vice-principal started performing sexual acts on a male pupil when he was 14 years old and preyed on him for three years even after becoming the boy's guardian in Singapore.

The boy and his mother arrived here from China in 1999 when he was about nine years old.

She was later repatriated for working illegally in Singapore and the boy eventually moved in with the man.

The sexual offences, which first took place in school in 2003, continued in the man's Woodlands flat until 2006. The victim, a Singaporean who is now 30 years old, finally lodged a police report in 2015.

Yesterday, District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt found the vice-principal, now 57, guilty of three counts of sexually exploiting a minor.

The judge also convicted him of five counts of carnal intercourse against the order of nature.

The man cannot be named because of a gag order to protect the victim's identity. The Ministry of Education told The Straits Times that he has been suspended from duty since December 2015 and is not deployed at any school.

Deputy Public Prosecutor James Chew said the victim was a Primary 5 pupil in 2003 and he reported to the man every morning as he was the vice-head prefect.

They were in the school gym that year when the man sexually abused the boy. The victim became head prefect in 2004 and accepted the man's offer of English tuition at his flat. The offences continued there.

 
 
 

During the trial in March last year, the victim testified that his mother was repatriated around 2002 and he had to live with a relative here.

When the relative could no longer be his guardian after his PSLE in 2004, the boy moved in with the vice-principal and his parents, with the man becoming his guardian.

The DPP said: "The victim shared a very good relationship with the accused's father and mother... He also began to regard the accused not just as a mentor, but also as a fatherly figure." But the man continued with the sexual acts until 2006 and the acts progressed to involve oral sex.

In 2013, they went on a trip to Scandinavia and the victim met a woman whom he later married. He moved in with her in Singapore later that year.

In 2015, the victim bumped into the vice-principal's niece and told her about his ordeal. She encouraged him to lodge a police report.

He decided to contact the man for an out-of-court settlement, asking for $200,000 in compensation.

They agreed to meet on Nov 24, 2015, but the victim was instead served with a cease-and-desist order from a lawyer, accusing him of extortion. The victim lodged a police report the next day.

The man's bail was set at $15,000. He is set to be sentenced on Sept 24.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on August 28, 2019, with the headline 'School vice-principal guilty of sexually exploiting minor'. Print Edition | Subscribe