Tey Tsun Hang, a former associate professor of law at National University of Singapore, was sentenced to five months in prison for abusing his position by having sex with a student and accepting gifts from her.
“Corruption must be stamped out effectively and swiftly,” Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye said in imposing the sentence at a Singapore subordinate court today.
Tan imposed a longer term than had been sought by prosecutors, who had recommended that Tey, 42, be jailed for at least 12 weeks for violating the “sacred” position of a teacher and undermining the university’s reputation. Tey’s lawyer Peter Low had sought only a fine for his client, or if necessary, he said, a short jail term.
Tan raised Tey’s bail to S$150,000 ($119,000) from S$100,000. Tey was handcuffed and led away by four police officers.
Low said his client will be released once the bail is processed and will appeal.
Tey was sentenced to three months in jail for having sex with the student and two months for accepting the gifts, to be served consecutively. He was given the same terms for a second sex charge and three other charges of accepting gifts, which are to run concurrently. Each charge carried a maximum sentence of five years in jail and a S$100,000 fine.
Tey, fired by the university after his conviction, had said the gifts and sex were part of a consensual relationship he had in 2010 with the student, now 23.
Tey sought expensive gifts, including a S$740 Montblanc pen, and “tricked” the student into having sex because he could influence her grades, Tan said today. Tey had confessed to officers of the Corrupt Practices Investigation Bureau that he boosted the student’s grades. He retracted the statement during his trial.
The former law lecturer intentionally abused his position and also made her pay for an abortion, Tan said.
Tey, who was paid S$225,000 a year at the university, was stripped of his tenured professorship and Singapore permanent resident status, Low said on May 28.
He has suffered “extreme shame” from the publicity surrounding his lapse of judgment, his lawyer said.
The case is Prosecutor v. Tey Tsun Hang. DAC027011/2012. The Subordinate Courts of Singapore.