SINGAPORE: A former teacher who sexually abused a 15-year-old student in his car was given four years' jail on Thursday (Nov 26).
The 33-year-old former English and Literature teacher pleaded guilty earlier this week to one count of sexual penetration of a minor and two counts of an indecent act with a young person.
Another three similar charges, including offences against a second victim, were taken into consideration for sentencing.
The man, who has resigned from teaching and cannot be named to protect the victims' identities, was allowed to begin his sentence on Nov 30 after settling some family matters.
The offender was popular with students both past and present and often mingled with them, which was how he came to know the first victim.
He first bought her coffee and chatted with her in the canteen about her relationship with her ex-boyfriend in February 2017. He then met her at her block to chat later that month.
On Feb 25, 2017, he picked her up for a car ride and complimented her looks before driving to another block, where he parked in front of a playground.
He molested and sexually abused her there, but the girl grabbed hold of his wrist and said "no" when he asked if she "liked it".
READ: Former teacher admits sexually abusing 15-year-old student, asking her to pretend he was her ex-boyfriend
In response, he asked her to imagine he was her ex-boyfriend. He then exposed himself to her and asked her to perform a sex act on him, but she closed her eyes and refused, saying she felt uncomfortable.
When the girl returned home, she blocked her teacher on all their chat apps and told her close friends what had happened. School staff members went to her house as she had not showed up for classes since the incident. The girl then filed a police report later that day.
The Ministry of Education said the offender is no longer employed by the ministry as of September 2018.
"MOE takes a serious view of staff misconduct and will not hesitate to take disciplinary action against those who fail to adhere to our standards of conduct and discipline, including dismissal from service," a spokesperson said.
For sexual penetration of a minor, the man could have been jailed for up to 10 years, fined, or both. For an indecent act on a young person, he could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.