Teacher jailed over sexual acts with female student, 14

A married secondary school teacher, who was aware that one of his students was infatuated with him, showered the 14-year-old girl with gifts, such as a watch and an iPhone, before performing sexual acts on her.

A district court heard that the man even lied to the minor, claiming that he reciprocated her feelings even though he felt no romantic attachments to her.

Yesterday, the 33-year-old man was sentenced to three years and seven months' jail after pleading guilty to two counts of sexually penetrating a minor.

He also admitted to one count of sexually exploiting a child. Four other similar charges involving the same girl were considered during sentencing.

Due to a gag order, details of the offender and the school cannot be revealed to protect the victim's identity.

The court heard that he had been one of the girl's teachers since she was a Secondary 1 student in 2017. The following year, they started exchanging text messages and initially chatted about school work.

But over time, they started discussing personal issues and became closer. They exchanged text messages, including sexually charged ones, daily by early last year.

The girl later told her teacher that she "liked" him. He lied, claiming he felt the same way.

When school ended at around 2pm on Feb 15 last year, the man took the girl back to his flat and asked her to perform oral sex on him.

The minor did as she was told and he later drove her back to school so that her mother could pick her up.

During the school holidays, on March 17 last year, the man conspired with the girl to lie to her mother, claiming that she had to attend a remedial class the next day.

He picked her up from her mother's workplace at around 10am the next day, and they went to his flat where he performed oral sex on the girl. He also sexually penetrated her.

His offences came to light on April 4 last year when the girl's father noticed that she was using an iPhone 6.

When the father asked her about the phone, he was told it was a gift from the teacher. A check of the phone uncovered messages suggesting a romantic relationship between the two of them.

The father alerted the school principal, who lodged a police report two days later.

For each count of sexually penetrating a minor, the offender could have been jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Shaffiq Alkhatib

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on March 20, 2020, with the headline Teacher jailed over sexual acts with female student, 14. Subscribe