Teacher gets 24 years jail, rotan for oral sex with pupils

Abdul Mutalib Hussain, 42, being led out by bailiffs. With him are lawyers Muhammad Arif Shaharuddin (black mask) and Mohd Rafiee Noordin (blue mask).

GEORGE TOWN: A primary school teacher was sentenced to 24 years in jail and six strokes of the rotan for sexually abusing three of his pupils during class two years ago.

Religious studies teacher Abdul Mutalib Hussain, 42, was charged with performing oral sex on three boys aged 8 to 10 between February 2017 and July 2018 at a classroom in a primary school here.

He had been charged in December with physical sexual abuse and abuse of trust, and pleaded not guilty. He changed his plea today.

The physical abuse charge carries a maximum penalty of 20 years’ jail and whipping, and abuse of trust a maximum 5 years’ jail.

He was sentenced separately by judges Mazdi Abd Hamid and Norsalha Hamzah to eight years’ jail, served concurrently, and two strokes of the rotan for each of the three children abused.

Lawyer Muhammad Arif Shaharuddin, pleading in mitigation, said Mutalib had regretted his actions.

“My client is a victim of sexual abuse himself in his younger days and hence it has influenced the way he was. He is remorseful of his ways and wants to take the rightful path in life,” he said.

Deputy public prosecutors Nurul Fatin Hussain, Preeya Darrsini Sugumaran and Nabila Huda Muhammad Nazim prosecuted, while Mohd Rafiee Noordin also appeared for the accused.

In July 2018, Mutalib was arrested for fondling the private parts of children, after a group of parents lodged police reports against him.

He was alleged to have committed the act during religious studies class.