A 66-year-old teacher at an enrichment centre was sentenced to 19.5 months’ jail on Tuesday (Jan 3) for molesting a seven-year-old female student during class over a three-month period in 2014.
Ian Lewis had another similar charge for molesting another victim, 8, in March last year taken into consideration for sentencing. The victims cannot be named to protect their identities.
The court heard that the Briton was a reading specialist teacher with an enrichment centre located in Orchard Road since 2012. The victim enrolled as a student at that centre between November 2013 and December 2014, where she attended Lewis’ class every Sunday, between 2:30pm to 4pm. Each class had about four to six students.
When she attended these classes, Lewis would sit beside her and slip his hand under her clothes under the table. Deputy Public Prosecutor Chee Ee Ling said this had happened on a number of occasions.
While the victim felt uncomfortable and frightened, she did not inform anyone as she was afraid of being scolded by Lewis, added the prosecutor. The victim only confided in her mother after watching an episode of Crime Watch where a tutor was shown behaving inappropriately with a student.
When they went to the police, they realised that Lewis had been suspended over a similar complaint that had been lodged by the parents of another student.
In urging the court to impose a jail term of 18 months – with an additional six weeks in lieu of three strokes of the cane, because offenders over age 50 cannot be caned under the law – DPP Chee cited several aggravating factors, including how Lewis had “brazenly approached the victim on the pretext of teaching her”.
“Bent solely on satisfying his selfish lust, the accused took the calculated risk that the victim, due to her vulnerability and naivety, will not report him,” she added.
There was also premeditation involved, where he approached the victim during class and used his position of trust as a teacher to commit such acts, noted DPP Chee.
She added: “She was a student of the accused and had barely hit puberty when she was sexually assaulted by him. He abused his position and breached the trust and authority bestowed on him as her teacher.”
For outraging the modesty of someone below 14 years old, Lewis could have been jailed up to five years and fined.