Lai Chee Hiang, 37 (centre) at the Petra Jaya Sessions Court today. Pix by Adib Povera

PETRA JAYA: A teacher of a primary school in Serian was slapped with 14 counts of molesting and outraging the modesty of five of his underage pupils when he was produced at the Sessions Court here today.

Clad in a black T-shirt and grey jeans, Lai Chee Hiang, 37, claimed trial to all charges, which accusing him of committing the offences between May and August this year.

He pleaded not guilty to three charges of having an 11-year-old boy perform oral sex on him at the school’s students affairs office in Serian near here between May and August this year.

The three charges were made against him under Section 377B of the Penal Code for committing carnal intercourse against the order of nature on the victim, which carries the maximum jail term of 20 years and whipping if found guilty.

He was also charged with three counts of touching the victim’s private part at a classroom of the same school during the same period. The charges were made against him under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Crimes Against Children Act 2017, which carries an imprisonment of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.

For the seventh charge, Lai was accused of touching the private parts of another pupil, an 11-year-old boy, for sexual purposes at the store room of the same school sometime in the month of August.

He was also charged with committing the same offence involving another boy, 10, at the classroom of the same school in the same month.

For the ninth and 10th charges, Lai pleaded not guilty to touching the private parts of another pupil, also a 10 year-old-boy, for sexual purposes at the classroom of the same school in the same month.

He also claimed trial to another charge of touching the private parts of another victim, a 12-year-old boy, at the classroom of the school in July this year.

The seventh, eighth, ninth, tenth and 13th charges were made against him under Section 14(a) of the Sexual Crimes Against Children Act 2017, which carries an imprisonment of up to 20 years and whipping upon conviction.

The 11th, 12th and 14th charges were made under Section 377E of the Penal Code, which carries a jail term of up to five years and whipping upon conviction.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Nor Azhari Yusof asked the court not to grant any bail against the accused.

“Since the victims are children, we do not want to give any avenue for the accused to reach out or communicate with the boys,” he said.

Counsel KC Wong, who appeared on behalf of Lai, contended that the charges made against his clients were bailable offences.

“So far, there was no complaint lodged against my client until recently. Until the offence has been proven, my client remains an innocent person,” he said.

Judge Shafiza Abdul Razak Tready denied the bail request.

She said the date for the hearing of the case would be fixed when it is called for mention at the Samarahan Court Complex in Kota Samarahan near here on Oct 25.

3,278 reads