Filipino Professor Gets 20 Years For Sex With 17-years-old

The Supreme Court has found a former professor of an exclusive girls' school in Makati guilty of child abuse for seducing his 17-year-old student in 1997.

The high tribunal's Sept. 21 ruling affirmed the Court of Appeals decision convicting Michael Malto-who used to teach philosophy at the Assumption College-of violating the child abuse law for having sexual intercourse with and committing lascivious acts on his student.

The high court, however, imposed a stiffer penalty on Malto by sentencing him to a minimum prison term of 14 years and 8 months to 20 years. It also ordered him to pay the victim P100,000 in civil indemnity and moral damages.

The appellate court earlier imposed a minimum prison sentence of eight years and one day to 17 years, four months and a day on the former professor.

Based on court records, Malto and his student, who was then only 17 years old, had sex on two occasions in 1997 in a Pasay City motel.

The high tribunal noted that Malto used his influence over the girl and pressured her to have intercourse with him.

According to the Supreme Court, even though the girl agreed to have sex with him, Malto could not use this as a defense because she was below 18 years old then.

"The mere act of having sexual intercourse or committing lascivious conduct with a child who is exploited in prostitution or subjected to sexual abuse constitutes the offense," it added.

Malto contended that he and the girl were in a relationship at that time, but the tribunal said this was immaterial.

"For purposes of sexual intercourse and lascivious conduct in child abuse cases under Republic Act 7610, the sweetheart defense is unacceptable. A child exploited in prostitution or subjected to other sexual abuse cannot validly give consent to sexual intercourse with another person," the high court said.

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