Hong Kong courts

Canadian teacher banned from Hong Kong kindergarten amid child molestation charges

Robert Scott Johnson is granted bail of HK$5,000 but ordered to stay away from school after indecent assault accusation

PUBLISHED : Monday, 16 July, 2018, 1:52pm
UPDATED : Tuesday, 17 July, 2018, 2:20pm

A Canadian teacher accused of molesting two girls at a Hong Kong kindergarten has been banned from returning to the school while facing criminal charges over the alleged incident.

Robert Scott Johnson, a Hong Kong resident, was brought to Kowloon City Court on Monday after he was arrested three days ago.

The 56-year-old faces two counts of indecent assault allegedly committed in a classroom on the day of his arrest.

The names of the kindergarten and the two children have been withheld for legal reasons.

Johnson, clad in a green chequered shirt as he stood in the dock on Monday, at times turned his head to scan the courtroom before telling the magistrate he understood the charges.

He was not yet required to make a plea, and was granted cash bail of HK$5,000.

“You are not allowed to go back to the kindergarten,” Principal Magistrate Bernadette Woo Huey Fang told him.

Breaching this bail condition would lead to further prosecution, Woo said.

Johnson is also not allowed to leave the city or contact the alleged victims.

The magistrate adjourned the case to August 27 after prosecutors demanded more time for police investigations, including the opportunity to search Johnson’s phone for incriminating evidence and locate potential witnesses and other victims.

Johnson’s lawyer, David Iu, said his client had first arrived in Hong Kong in 2001 to teach English, and had a wife in the Philippines.

The teacher had been working at the kindergarten for three years, earning HK$26,000 (US$3,310) per month.