Piano teacher jailed 4 years for abuse of pupil

PUBLISHED : Friday, 02 March, 2007, 12:00am
UPDATED : Friday, 02 March, 2007, 12:00am

A piano teacher who sexually abused one of his pupils while on the way to a concert in Guangzhou was yesterday jailed for four years.

Anthony Loh's conviction is the first in Hong Kong for a sexual offence involving a minor committed outside the city.

But it was the second time Loh, 43, had been convicted of performing sexual acts on boys, and the case has prompted renewed calls for Hong Kong to establish a register of sex offenders.

Loh pleaded guilty in the Court of First Instance to two counts of indecent assault over incidents which took place in a Guangzhou hotel room on July 22 last year.

The court heard that Loh had been sentenced to 21/2 years in prison in 2001 for the indecent assault of two 14-year-old boys in his Mong Kok flat. After being released, he had married and had a daughter, the court heard. Loh had hoped this might suppress his desire for boys and young men, but it had not, and he had often found himself using teenage male prostitutes.

At the same time, he had resumed working as a private piano tutor. Loh admitted performing two sex acts on his 14-year-old victim before trying to force the teenager to perform one on him. The boy had tried in vain to call for help.

Judge Derek Pang Wai-cheong said Loh had put himself at severe risk of reoffending by arranging to share a room with the boy.

The judge urged the defendant to seek as much help as he could for his sexual preoccupation. He advised Loh - who, a court-commissioned report said, had a medium to high risk of reoffending - not to cease treatment until told to do so by professionals.

Reacting to the case, the director of the charity Against Child Abuse said: 'Our concern is that with crimes like this, the reoffending rate is very high. Even with counselling and therapy, we are told that you cannot be sure that they [child sexual abusers] have recovered from this pathological behaviour.'

The director, Priscilla Lui Tsang Sun-kai, called for more sentencing options to be available to judges.

She said that aside from recommending prolonged psychological help, the charity was a firm believer in the need to register offenders.

'We have found that a lot of the concern has actually been directed to the adult offenders and not so much to the victims or community,' she said.