Warden acquitted of molesting boys

PUBLISHED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2008, 12:00am
UPDATED : Tuesday, 22 January, 2008, 12:00am

The warden of a boarding school for the blind has been acquitted of molesting two male students.

Eastern Court magistrate Bina Chainrai said defendant Wan Siu-fai, 51, was acquitted because she had 'doubts' about the prosecution's case, without elaborating what her doubts were.

In handing down her verdict yesterday, Ms Chainrai also described one of the teenage victims as 'frank' and 'particularly impressive'.

The blind victim, now 17, and his close friend, a heavily visually impaired 18-year-old, claimed they felt Wan press his erect penis against them after he summoned them to his office in 2005. The blind student had said Mr Wan pressed his erect penis against his forehead when he was ordered to kneel as punishment for prank phone calls to a teacher.

Witnesses, including the school's teachers and a social worker, had testified in favour of Mr Wan, saying he cared for his students and staff and had never imposed corporal punishment on students.

Mr Wan, now suspended from the Ebenezer School and Home for the Visually Impaired in Pok Fu Lam, had pleaded not guilty and had elected not to give evidence on two counts of indecent assault and one count of child abuse in 2004 and 2005.

Ms Chainrai yesterday questioned why some witnesses could remember the exact time the defendant was in the school garden instead of the warden's office when the assault allegedly occurred.

She said the witnesses' evidence was 'amazing', and then went on to praised the fully blind boy.

She said she found him to be a young man who was 'not afraid to speak up for himself' and was 'frank', contrary to witnesses, including the school's social worker and teacher, who testified he was a troubled student and told lies.

But she doubted why the other victim, who alleged the warden pressed his erect penis against his back after a chat in his office, had told his close friend there had been no sexual assault.