Former professor wins appeal for sex-for-grades case

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The actions of former National University of Singapore law professor, Tey Tsun Hung, were “morally reprehensible” but were not corrupt said Justice Woo Bih Li this morning in Singapore’s High Court. Tey was found guilty and sentenced to five months’ jail last May for obtaining gifts and sex from a former student in exchange for better grades.

Tey was acquitted today of all his criminal charges by the Singapore’s High Court after an appeal was filed last year.

Justice Woo Bih Li called him “a man without honour” and said Tey’s manner of defending himself in court during his trial last year “reflected poorly on him”.

“This court does not condone the way he abused his position and exploited Ms Ko,” said Justice Woo.

“He took advantage of her to satisfy his greed and his lust. He did not even take responsibility when she told him that she was pregnant. Instead, he lied to her that he had no money when he told her to get rid of the baby. He is a man without honour.”

Justice Woo said he exploited his student Darinne Ko by having sex with her, impregnating her and making her pay for the subsequent abortion. Tey had also accepted gifts from Ko amounting to S$2414.80.

But the affectionate letters penned by Ko to Tey proved that she was in love with him at that time, added Justice Woo. Ko’s action were not to obtain better grades from Tey in return.

He said this showed that the earlier conclusion by Chief District Judge Tan Siong Thye during last May’s trial was incorrect.

“Tan was also wrong to equate morally reprehensible conduct with what is legally wrong,” Justice Woo said.

Tey’s lawyer Peter Low said earlier today to AFP, “The crux of it is that the court found that it takes two hands to clap even though he exploited her and that she was in love with him.”

Tey is also the second high-profile individual who has been acquitted of all charges in a corruption case in Singapore in the past year. Ng Boon Gay, former Central of Narcotics Bureau (CNB) chief was cleared of all charges last February. The court rejected the charge that he demanded oral sex from a female contractor in exchange for government deals.