SINGAPORE — He was supposed to send his teenage niece to school but instead drove her to a multi-storey carpark where he asked her to sit on his lap and then kissed her neck.
The man had earlier been told by the girl’s mother to stop engaging in physical contact with the girl as she had just reached puberty.
At the State Courts on Thursday (22 October), the 48-year-old was jailed 20 weeks after pleading guilty to committing an indecent act with the then 13-year-old victim in August last year.
Both the victim and perpetrator cannot be named to protect the former’s identity.
Victim saw perpetrator as father figure
The man, who worked as a pest buster and owned a van, was the husband of the victim’s maternal aunt and a father figure to the victim.
He would often express his affection for his niece by hugging her, getting her to sit on his lap and kissing her cheeks.
These actions came to an end around 2015 when the victim’s mother told the man that he should refrain from unnecessary physical contact with the girl, as she had reached puberty. The man agreed that it would be inappropriate and ceased physical contact with the girl.
On 2 August last year, the victim was on her way to school by bus when she ran into her uncle at a void deck. The man offered to take her to school in his van but the girl declined. She eventually relented after some persuasion.
While in the van, however, the man drove past the girl’s school. The girl did not think much of it at the time, thinking that her uncle was not allowed to stop the van at the school’s entrance.
The man then parked the van at a multi-storey carpark and the girl alighted to thank her uncle for fetching her to school. The man told her that he missed her and requested a hug, to which the girl complied.
He then instructed the girl to get into the back of the van with him and to sit on his lap. The man then kissed her neck several times, taking pictures of themselves several times.
Even though the girl struggled to get free, the man tightened his hug. He only let her go when the girl said she was late for school.
“The victim was shocked and disappointed with the accused. She sent a text message to her mother to inform her mother that the accused had kissed her. The victim also reported the matter to her teacher upon arriving at school,” said Deputy Public Prosecutor Colin Ng.
During a psychiatric evaluation five weeks after the incident, the girl said that she felt upset and frustrated as she treated her uncle as a father. She also had repeated flashbacks of the incident and dreamt of it.
For his offence, which falls under the Children and Young Persons Act, the man could have been jailed up to five years, fined up to $10,000, or both.
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