Kindergarten assistant faces sexual abuse charges: police

2018-05-14 08:00     Comment:1

A male kindergarten assistant facing sexual abuse charges has been released on his own recognisance, the Public Prosecution Office (MP) has announced.

Speaking during a press briefing on Friday, Judiciary Police (PJ) spokesman Ho Chan Nam had announced the suspect’s transfer from the police to the Public Prosecution Office for further questioning.

Ho identified the suspect as a 26-year-old non-resident worker from the Philippines surnamed De Leon. Earlier last week, the Judiciary Police had told the media that the suspect was in his thirties.

Ho said that since last Tuesday the police had received three separate reports from parents suspecting that their daughters were sexually abused by the suspect. One of the three girls was allegedly abused by the suspect as early as at the end of last year.

Ho did say how many times the girls were allegedly abused by the suspect.

Portuguese-language newspaper daily Hoje Macau, which broke the news early last week, said the alleged abuse took place at the private D. Jose da Costa Nunes Kindergarten, a kindergarten owned and run by the Macanese Education Promotion Association (APIM), in Avenida de Sidonio Pais.

The suspect, whose work reportedly included taking care of the pupils’ personal hygiene, has been suspended since the parents’ reports, according to local media reports.

Ho said that the results of preliminary medical examinations did not show any evidence that the three girls had been abused. However, he noted that the suspect might have touched the girls’ genitals and abused them while he was alone with them. Ho also noted that the kindergarten didn’t have clear instructions for employees on how to clean the body of their pupils.

The Public Prosecution Office said in a statement on Saturday that the suspect was facing sexual abuse of children charges in accordance with Article 166 and Article 172 of the Macau Penal Code, the latter article referring to victims under the age of 12. If found guilty, the suspect faces a prison term of one to 8 years.

The suspect has been released on his own recognisance and ordered to regularly report to the police.

Meanwhile, Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ) Director Lou Pak Sang yesterday spoke to reporters about the case on
the sidelines of an activity at Saint Paul School.

Lou said that the kindergarten might not have been “sensitive enough” concerning such incidents, and also failed to report them in due course. He added that his bureau would investigate whether anybody at the kindergarten should be held responsible for the incidents, after receiving a report on the matter from the kindergarten on Thursday.

According to Lou, since the parents’ reports about the alleged sexual abuse DSEJ officials have visited the kindergarten every day
to supervise its activities.

Lou noted that according to regulations, an offending educational institution faces various degrees of possible punishment by the government, from a warning to compulsory shutdown. Lou added he would review whether the exchange of information between his bureau and the city’s education institutions should be improved.

Lou Pak Sang, director of the Education and Youth Affairs Bureau (DSEJ), speaks to reporters yesterday about the alleged sex abuse at the private D. Jose Costa Nunes Kindergarten on the sidelines of an activity at Saint Paul School. Courtesy: TDM


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