SINGAPORE — A part-time tutor molested a 15-year-old boy during a tuition session and later knelt to beg the victim's parents for forgiveness.
It was not the first time the married man had touched the boy, who is in Secondary 3.
The man, 43, was jailed for 8 months on Thursday (25 November) after he pleaded guilty to one charge of molest. One count of possessing obscene films was considered for his sentencing.
Both the tutor and the victim cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity.
In 2018, the victim’s family engaged the man, who also worked as a Grab driver, to be the boy’s mathematics tutor. The man taught the victim in the living room of the victim’s home every Saturday from 7.30pm to 9pm. He would sit beside the boy on a long bench.
In June last year, the boy told his family that the tutor had touched him. The family assumed that the touch was accidental or a misunderstanding and did not stop the man’s services. Instead, they arranged for tutor and tutee to sit on separate chairs for future sessions.
This did not deter the man.
On 29 August last year, as the boy was having his usual tuition session, the man felt an “uncontrollable sexual urge” to touch him, said the prosecution. Over 20 minutes, he touched the boy’s right hip and thigh, as well as the boy's crotch.
Stunned, the victim did not know how to react. He then summoned the courage to stare at the tutor, who immediately pulled his hand away.
A few minutes later, as the boy worked on some questions, the man touched him again on his thigh with his left hand. The boy asked why the man had touched him and the latter apologised.
The boy stood up to walk to his parents room, intending to tell them about the molest.
“However, the accused pulled the victim’s arm and begged him not to tell his parents about this. The victim then started to shout for the accused to let him go, which alerted the victim’s parents,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Bryan Joel Lim.
The boy told his parents what had happened, spurring the man to kneel on the floor to beg for forgiveness. He asked the parents not to call the police, but the boy’s father did so at 9.29pm.
In mitigation, the man said that he was married with a wife and two children, whom he needed to support financially.
DPP Lim sought nine months' jail, stating that the court needed to send a strong message that such an abuse of trust would not be tolerated. He noted that in Singapore, one-on-one tuition services are commonplace, and where teachers have the privilege of unsupervised access to their students.
For molest, the man could have been jailed up to two years, or fined, or caned, or with any combination of the penalties.
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