SINGAPORE: A private mathematics tutor was jailed 13-and-a-half months on Tuesday (Apr 4) for molesting his 11-year-old student twice in her own home.
Yong Koon Seong, 65, was caught red-handed when the girl’s grandmother saw him with his hands up her granddaughter’s T-shirt on Jun 24, 2014.
He molested her for the first time on Jun 20 when he touched and squeezed her breasts without her consent.
Four days later, he molested her again after becoming aroused when he noticed that the girl was not wearing a bra. He reached across the table and grabbed her chest.
The victim tried to move Yong’s hand away but could not, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Stella Tan. He then moved to stand behind the victim and put his hands into her shirt to squeeze her breasts. The victim sat silently in her chair, DPP Tan said.
Yong touched her for two to three minutes until he realised that the victim’s grandmother was standing at the door. The 62-year-old woman confronted Yong, but he insisted nothing had happened.
Before he left, Yong told the victim to lie to her grandmother about why he had been standing behind her. He instructed the girl to say that he had a backache and could not sit for too long, and that he had been standing behind her to check her work.
The girl later confided in her grandmother, who called her parents. They called Yong and asked him to come to the house on the pretext of providing an update on their daughter’s academic progress.
When Yong did not turn up, the girl’s mother called him. He said he had done something wrong and asked for a second chance, DPP Tan told the court. The mother again asked him to come to the house. This time, Yong turned up and admitted he had molested the girl twice on separate occasions.
He cried and pleaded for a second chance, DPP Tan said, but the victim’s mother had already called the police. Yong was arrested that night.
He pleaded guilty last October to one count of using criminal force to outrage the victim’s modesty. Another charge was taken into consideration.
TUTOR BETRAYED TRUST OF VICTIM AND HER PARENTS: JUDGE
On Tuesday, a district judge rejected Yong’s claim that he was suffering from persistent depressive disorder with a major depressive episode at the time of the offence. Though the judge did accept that Yong suffered from “some amount of stress and unhappiness”, he said this did not amount to depression.
“The accused abused and betrayed the trust of the victim and her parents, who allowed him to tutor their child in their home without the supervision of an adult,” the judge said.
Yong was “emboldened by the (victim’s) lack of protest (and) preyed on her again”, the judge said, adding that the victim has been “scarred” as a result.
Since the incident, the girl has become fearful of men, her mother said. The victim, now 14, also wears a jacket zipped up to the neck wherever she goes, even in hot weather.
The judge sentenced Yong to 12 months’ jail and three strokes of the cane. Since he is above the age of 50 and cannot be caned as a result, Yong will serve an additional six weeks in prison, making it a total jail term of 13-and-a-half months.
For using criminal force to outrage the modesty of a victim under 14 years old, Yong could have been jailed up to five years and/or fined.