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Singapore ex-professor gets jail for sexual favors

June 3, 2013

SINGAPORE (AP) — A Singaporean judge on Monday sentenced a former law professor to five months in jail for accepting sex and gifts from a student in exchange for good grades.

The case is one of several recent corruption trials to hit this Southeast Asian city-state, which has a reputation of cultivating a clean bureaucracy.

Tey Tsun Hang was fired from the National University of Singapore last week after being convicted of six counts of corruption involving what was described in court as “unbecoming” behavior for a senior educator.

Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye sentenced the 42-year-old to five months in jail and ordered him to pay a fine of 514 Singapore dollars ($408). He plans to appeal and is expected to be freed on bail while awaiting further hearings.

Tey was charged last July with accepting sex, tailored shirts, an iPod, an expensive pen and dinner at an Italian restaurant from a then-21-year-old student with whom he had a romantic relationship.

The student also told investigators that she had an abortion after becoming pregnant with Tey’s child.

Tan criticized Tey at Monday’s sentencing hearing, saying he had “clearly and systematically” taken advantage of a student and told a “litany of lies” after being discovered.

Tey, a former judge himself who received an annual salary of 225,000 Singapore dollars ($180,000) for his university job, had faced a maximum sentence of seven years and could have been fined 100,000 Singapore dollars ($79,000).

During the trial, the court heard an investigating officer’s statement that the student had been a “borderline failure” and should not have obtained a “B″ for one of her law papers.

High-level corruption cases were once rare in Singapore, which has a well-paid, efficient bureaucracy. But a series of scandals has shocked Singaporeans this past year involving senior public officials accused of misconduct and obtaining sexual favors in exchange for furthering their business interests.

In the most recent other such court verdict in Singapore, former Civil Defense Force Commissioner Peter Lim was convicted of graft last week for corruptly obtaining oral sex. Lim will be sentenced later and faces a possible five-year prison term and a fine.

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