SINGAPORE: The illicit relationship started from a boating accident during an overseas school trip.
It led to a female teacher from a top school and her 15—year—old male student developing a relationship, which soon turned sexual.
Both parties cannot be named due to a gag order issued by the court.
The 32—year—old teacher, who is also a married mother of two, pleaded guilty on Wednesday to two counts of sexual offences with a male under 16 years of age.
Seven other similar counts were taken into consideration.
The petite and bespectacled woman, who turned up in court with several family members, appeared emotionless while her plea was taken.
According to court documents, the teacher and the student went abroad for a student leader camp in 2011, where she acted as a chaperone.
A boating accident left the boy traumatised, and he started confiding in her.
Not long after, they exchanged phone numbers and started dating.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Sharmila Sripathy Shanaz told the court that the teacher "actively pursued her student, showered him with gifts and wrote him love notes."
She continued with her affection even when her student was on vacation with his family, and even gave him her journal as a Christmas gift when he returned.
Sometime in December 2011, the teacher took the boy to her flat where she performed oral sex on him with his consent.
She took him to her home again the following month, and had sex with him consensually.
The boy was a virgin during the time of the offence.
The illicit affair only came to light in February this year when the boy’s parents confronted their son about their relationship.
They then lodged a complaint to the school, which swiftly led to the teacher’s resignation.
In the mitigation, the teacher’s lawyer, Mr Denis Tan, argued that it was not a case where his client "acted as a predator" and intended to "corrupt" her young charge.
He emphasised that the teacher had "struggled with herself" to detach herself from the relationship.
However, DPP Shanaz rejected any notion of a "genuine romantic relationship" and instead denounced it "wholly inappropriate and illicit".
Citing the wide age gap between the teacher and the student, DPP Shanaz ruled out the possibility of a "momentary lapse in judgment" by the teacher.
She also highlighted that the teacher’s abuse of her position was the most aggravating factor as it had "destroyed the fundamental feeling of safety and protection that teachers must provide."
In addition, DPP Shanaz noted that several sexual activities occurred in the span of two months.
She also urged the court to impose a jail term of at least a year on each charge.
The woman will be sentenced on 29 October.
If convicted, she could be jailed up to 10 years and fined on each charge.
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