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A male art teacher molested a secondary 2 student in the presence of his schoolmates.
The teacher squeezed the right side of the 13-year-old boy’s chest. He even told the boy that he resembled a Japanese pornographic comic character, reports The Straits Times.
After that, he went on to touch the boy’s groin and backside on the same day.
District Judge John Ng found the man guilty of three counts of molestation after a nine-day trial. The man cannot be named due to a gag order imposed to protect the victim’s identity.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Amanda Chong stated in her submissions that the boy had been working on a sculpture at Art Studio 1 of the school on Feb 17, 2016.
The teacher later approached the boy after 3pm and molested him.
DPP Chong said:
“The victim felt uncomfortable as a result of the accused's touching... He wanted to complete the sculpture and go home at the earliest moment possible. He therefore shrugged it off.”
The teacher then left for the Higher Art Room. Wishing to consult the teacher on the sculpture, the boy later entered the same room at around 4pm to 5pm.
However, the man started asking the boy questions on sensitive topics, and even commented that the boy’s leg hair was “very sexy”, before proceeding to molest him two more times.
The boy then left the room as the man asked him:
“Why? Too shy?”
The boy told his mother about the incident when he reached home, prompting her to call his form teacher, who in turn alerted the school’s management.
The principal of the school testified in court, saying that she and the vice-principle met the man the next day. The man appeared “shocked and remorseful”, she said.
The man also told them that “he knew he was overboard”.
The man is currently out on bail of $15,000. Throughout the trial, the man denied molesting the teenager. He will be back in court on August 14.
In response to media queries, a Ministry of Education (MOE) spokesman told The Straits Times that disciplinary action will be meted out on the man.
The man has also been suspended from duty since February 2016.
The spokesman added:
“MOE takes a serious view of educator misconduct. Educators who fail to comply with our standards of conduct and discipline will be subjected to disciplinary action. In serious cases, they may be dismissed from the service.”