Wed, Dec 30, 2009 - Page 2 News List

Elementary school teacher sentenced for sexual assault

PREDATOR After the 28-year-old teacher appealed against his 20-year prison sentence, the High Court reduced the sentence to 19 years and six months

By Shelley Huang  /  STAFF REPORTER

The Taichung branch of the Taiwan High Court yesterday sentenced an elementary school teacher to 19 years and six months in jail for sexually assaulting his students.

Judges wrote in their ruling that the 28-year-old male teacher, surnamed Hsieh (謝), had since February 2007 used lunch breaks or after-school counseling sessions to sexually assault students. The victims were forced to engage in oral sex, intercourse and other forms of sexual behavior.

Before Hsieh’s dark side came to light, he had been known as a strict teacher whose students often performed well academically.

To intimidate his victims into keeping quiet about the incidents, Hsieh would often write notes to their parents, telling them that the student was not performing well at school or was displaying poor behavior, the court was told.

Hsieh, a choir teacher, also forced students to perform sexual acts when he stayed with them at hotels on trips for choir performances.

During the first review of the case, the Taichung District Court convicted Hsieh on charges including offenses against sexual autonomy and sentenced him to 20 years in prison. The judges also ordered Hsieh and the elementary school to pay compensation of more than NT$20 million (US$619,800) to the victims and their families.

After Hsieh appealed against the district court ruling, the Taiwan High Court handed down the slightly reduced sentence because judges ruled that one of the incidents was not well-­substantiated by evidence.

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