A 30-year-old teacher who sexually exploited two of his students, aged 14 and 15, was today (Feb 25) sentenced to 26 months’ jail.Yeo Chang Yong, who is currently suspended pending the case outcome, was aged between 26 and 27 at the time of the offences.
He was posted to a school as a contract teacher in 2009. He then left in June 2010 to complete his postgraduate diploma at the National Institute of Education. In June 2011, he was officially posted to the same school after graduating.
Investigations revealed that Yeo became acquainted with the two minors when he was teaching in 2009. Both girls had sought assistance with their studies and Yeo took the opportunity to take advantage of them. The offences took place between August 2010 and January 2011.
Yeo admitted to having sex with the 15-year-old and committing obscene acts including kissing and hugging, with the 14-year-old. In its submissions, the prosecution urged the court to impose a sentence of at least 21 months, pointing out that Yeo had abused his position as a teacher.
The prosecution said the wide age disparity between Yeo and the two minors are aggravating factors. Given that six other offences were taken into consideration, the prosecution argued that Yeo had a “systematic pattern of offending”.
The prosecution added that “as a teacher, he had unbridled access to a pool of immature, naive and impressionable young girls. The evidence shows that he clearly had no qualms or reservations about taking advantage of the easy opportunity which presented itself to him, exploiting it fully to gratify his lust.”
But the defence argued that Yeo was no longer a teacher at the school when he was going out with the 15-year-old girl. It added that Yeo has been suffering from depression since investigations began and that he regrets immensely his “bad judgement calls”.
The defence also pointed out that the sexual acts were consensual. But this cut no ice with District Judge Wong Choon Ning, who said Yeo’s conduct was nothing short of deplorable. She stressed that there are potential dangers for the children, given their immaturity, and Yeo had broken the sacred trust placed upon him.