SINGAPORE — A girl who accused her mother’s boyfriend of molesting her had made her close friend promise to call the police after confiding in her.
The two girls were at their usual play date at a playground near their school when the alleged victim asked her close friend, who is of the same age, to call the police.
It was the girl’s second day testifying against her mother’s boyfriend, a 36-year-old Malaysian man, who is accused of molesting the girl thrice between January and June 2018, when she was nine. The girl’s parents are divorced and she stays with her father. The girl’s mother stays in the same HDB block, but on a lower level.
In one incident, the man is alleged to have pulled her towards him on the sofa twice, causing his groin to touch her groin. He is also said to have touched her head and buttocks with his groin area. All the alleged incidents took place while both were clothed.
Now 12, the girl appeared in court via videolink on Wednesday (4 August) accompanied by an adult volunteer from the Singapore Children’s Society. She sat on a couch with a teddy bear on her lap as she answered questions posed by the prosecution and the man’s lawyer Wee Hong Shern.
Both the victim and her alleged molester cannot be named to protect her identity.
The alleged incidents led to the girl confiding in her close friend, who called the police from the playground on 25 January 2019. She told the court that she had decided to confide in her friend at that point as she “couldn’t keep it anymore” and “it hurts (her) inside whenever (she) can’t tell”.
“I said to her that if I tell her about the incident, I asked her to promise me to call the police,” said the girl, when asked how she knew her friend called the police. While the friend was on the call, the girl said she felt scared. She went to a slide and covered her ears as she did not want to hear what her friend said.
Her friend later told her that the police would be coming to the playground. She said “I was nervous because I didn’t really want to see the police because I was not ready to tell but I knew I had to.”
Asked by Deputy Public Prosecutor Benedict Teong why she “had to tell”, the girl replied, “Because I couldn’t really hold the secret anymore it was hurting me inside and (my friend) was the only person that I could trust.”
She no longer keeps in contact with the same friend as she stopped coming to school regularly from last year.
Victim: Mother didn't really care
When the police arrived later, several officers spoke to the girl and her friend separately while taking notes. They later brought her to a police station and informed her father about the matter.
DPP Teong also asked the girl about her relationship with her mother before and after the alleged incidents.
“(Now) I don’t really talk to her since my father won’t allow me to go downstairs to see her,” said the girl.
“It affects (my relationship with her) because I can only text her but we don’t really text, talk to each other that much. She will just ask me if I want food …(and) she will bring the food up then she will just give the food to me then just go.”
She added that before the incident, she used to eat at her mother’s flat. She would stay there for a “long period” of time and was close to her mother.
Asked if there was a reason for the change in their relationship, “Before the (molest) incident, I wouldn’t be really angry with her because we would normally just talk and we would be happy. But after the incident as I tried to tell her about what (the alleged offender) did to me, she didn’t really care so I got really angry.”
The trial will continue on Wednesday with a doctor expected to testify.
Molesting a person under 14 carries a jail term of up to five years, or a fine, or caning, or any combination of the punishments.
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