The State Courts in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps
The State Courts in Singapore. Photo: Google Maps

A 33-year-old Filipino cello instructor was found guilty at the Singapore District Court of molesting an 18-year-old student during private cello lessons in 2016.

The accused, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was tried on four counts of molestation on two occasions on June 25, 2016, and again a week later, the Shin Min Daily News reported.

The first incident happened in the middle of a cello lesson, during which the accused told his student that her that her cello was not placed correctly against her body. He then placed his hand on the upper left side of her breast twice.

On July 2, 2016, the instructor molested the schoolgirl again in the same classroom, again while claiming to correct her manner of holding the instrument.

The man pulled a chair to the middle of the room and sat on it. He asked the victim to sit on the same chair in between his legs. The accused then touched the inside of her thigh and asked the victim if he could unhook her brassiere.

The accused denied this, and said he had no reason to touch the victim.

Although the school principal backed the accused, the prosecutor found the principal to be a “biased witness” who had also admitted that he did not actually observe what happened in the classroom.

On the other hand, the victim appeared to be honest, and gave a coherent account of the incidents.

District Judge Chay Yuen Fatt said he believed the victim’s evidence and felt that her emotional outpouring to her mother over the episodes was consistent with being molested. He also felt that she had no reason to falsely accuse the instructor of such a serious allegation.

The accused was granted S$50,000 bail and ordered to return to the court to submit mitigation and be sentenced on May 8. For each count of molestation the accused could be jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or a given a combination of the punishments.

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