SINGAPORE - A teacher who began courting his student when she was 13 and had a sexual relationship with her for about five years was jailed for 4-1/2 years on Wednesday (Jan 13).
The 42-year-old had admitted to six of 40 charges - two each of carnal connection with a girl under 16 years old, committing an obscene act with a child, and insulting the modesty of a woman.
The divorcee with two children cannot be named because of a gag order.
He was 30 when he committed the first offences in 2003. The victim is now 25.
The court heard that he was the girl's English and history teacher. He became close to her when he gave her and a few other students free tuition.
In June that year, he began courting her and enlisted her help to mark papers. He initiated the sexual encounter. He told her he loved her and convinced her that they could be in a relationship. He paid for all her expenses and bought her whatever she wanted.
In March or April the following year, he rented a room at her place after telling the girl and her mother that he needed a place to stay as he was undergoing divorce proceedings.
Between 2003 and 2007, the teacher and the girl had numerous sexual encounters in rented cars, hotel rooms and in her own home.
She tried to break off with him in 2006 but he refused and increased his interference with her social life.
Their relationship ended in 2008. Despite this, he continued to stay at the flat until mid-2013.
The girl, then 19, was showering in the common bathroom in mid-2009 when she discovered his mobile phone in the bathroom. He had placed the recording device among the toiletries in the bathroom and transferred the recordings into his personal laptop and portable hard disk.
After deleting the recording, the teenager informed her mother, who asked him to leave. He pleaded with them and said it would not happen again. The mother agreed to allow him to stay but warned that she would call the police if he did it again.
In July 2013, he agreed to leave as the victim's elder brother was getting married and needed the room.
The victim decided to do a check to ensure that the accused did not keep any of her things. She discovered video recordings of her trysts and her showering in his possession and reported him to the police on Aug 21 that year.
District Judge Siva Shanmugam agreed with the prosecution that the aggravating factors featured in this case called for the imposition of a custodial sentence. He noted the 16-year age disparity between the teacher and the girl, and that he was her form teacher.
He said the teacher had breached the trust placed on him by both the girl and her mother.
"There was a high degree of exploitation as the teacher had committed penetrative acts on the minor,'' he added.
The teacher, who had 32 other charges considered, could have been jailed for up to five years and fined up to $10,000 for carnal connection. For committing an obscene act with a child, he could have been fined up to $5,000 and/or jailed for up to two years; and for insulting modesty, one year and a fine .