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The New Paper
Aug 23, 2019
They had texted each other and gone out a few times before he asked his 14-year-old student out for dinner after a school outing in July last year.
At a restaurant in Dhoby Ghaut, the 35-year-old secondary school teacher kissed the girl on the lips, leaving her embarrassed and scared, a district court heard on Tuesday.
Later that evening, he suddenly kissed the girl's lips again at a staircase.
Feeling uncomfortable, the girl later told another teacher about what happened, and the police were alerted.
Pleading guilty to a charge under the Children and Young Persons Act, the teacher, who cannot be named due to a gag order, admitted to sexually exploiting the girl.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Ben Tan told District Judge Salina Ishak the man taught both lower and upper secondary levels and was the teacher in charge of the girl's co-curricular activity.
Suspended since September last year, he is no longer teaching at the school, the Ministry of Education (MOE) said in response to media queries.
The court heard the teacher was a chaperone for a school outing to a play, which he watched with the girl and her schoolmates on July 28 last year.
After the play ended, the girl agreed to go for dinner with him. They had previously gone out together for a haircut on July 18 and had tea on July 24.
At dinner, she sat opposite him, but when they finished, he asked her to sit next to him.
The teacher then placed his right arm over her shoulder, leaned in, and kissed her.
DPP Tan said the girl was shocked and nervous, and she laughed as she did not know how to react.
She told the man she wanted to go home as it was late.
Walking up a staircase at about 7pm, he called out to her and kissed her again when she stopped and turned around.
After that, they took a bus to her father's home and parted ways.
A police report was lodged a month later on Aug 27.
For sexually exploiting a young person, the teacher can be jailed up to five years and/or fined up to $10,000. He was offered bail of $10,000 and will be sentenced on Sept 3.
MOE said it takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action, including dismissal, against those who fail to adhere to its standards of conduct and discipline.
"All educators are expected to conduct themselves in a manner which upholds the integrity of the profession and the trust placed in them," said a spokesman.