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Workshop trainer asked 15-year-old student for underwear photo on Instagram, gets jail

Workshop trainer asked 15-year-old student for underwear photo on Instagram, gets jail

File photo of a person on Instagram. (Photo: Unsplash/Leon Seibert)

SINGAPORE: After conducting a leadership workshop for a class, a trainer began talking to a 15-year-old boy about sexual topics, eventually asking the boy to send a photo of himself in underwear.

Feeling uncomfortable, the boy eventually reported what happened to a teacher, and the trainer Tay Yi Hui was jailed for two months on Tuesday (Dec 1).

The court heard that Tay, 28, was employed as a trainer at a consultancy firm, which held a leadership workshop for students at the victim's school in May last year.

After conducting a session on May 30, 2019, the victim sent Tay a request to "follow" him on Instagram, which Tay accepted.

Tay then initiated a conversation with the victim on the photo sharing platform, asking the teenager to keep it a secret as he was not allowed to contact students after the workshop, according to regulations set by the Ministry of Education (MOE).

They first chatted about the victim's school results, but the conversation took a sexual turn when Tay asked the victim why his classmates made remarks about him being homosexual, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Tay Zhi Jie.

In their conversations, Tay told the victim that he was "cute" and that he liked him. He also asked if the victim dated men and if he minded having a boyfriend much older than him.

He also sent the victim a photo of his laptop, which displayed an image of the accused in the nude with his hand covering his private parts.

In the wee hours of May 31, 2019, Tay began talking about underwear, telling the victim that he could let the boy wear Tay's underwear. He also asked the boy what he did in his underwear.

Tay then asked the victim to send a photo of himself in his underwear, if Tay could correctly guess the colour of the victim's underwear.

The victim replied that he was too young to take a photo of himself dressed like that, and did not comply with the request.

Tay continued to engage the victim about sexual topics, including asking if he could shave the victim's armpit and pubic hair, if the victim watched pornography and if so, what type of pornography. 

Before ending the conversation, Tay reminded the victim to keep their exchange a secret. However, the boy felt uncomfortable and told his teacher what happened soon after, and the teacher filed a police report.

Tay pleaded guilty to one charge of attempting to procure an indecent act by a young person in relation to the underwear photo.

PREMEDITATED OFFENCE

The prosecutor sought two months' jail, noting that the victim had "a degree of situational vulnerability because he was the accused's student during the leadership workshop".

The offence was premeditated, with Tay asking the victim about his sexuality after noticing the teasing during the workshop.

Tay also openly violated MOE regulations and stressed twice to the victim to keep their conversation secret to avoid detection, said the prosecutor.

For the charge of attempting to procure an indecent act with a young person, Tay could have been jailed for up to five years, fined up to S$10,000, or both.

Source: CNA/ll(ta)

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