SINGAPORE — A 38-year-old man who sexually assaulted his girlfriend's young daughter was on Monday (26 July) jailed for 12-and-a-half years with 15 strokes of the cane.
The culprit, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, pleaded guilty at the High Court to one charge each of outrage of modesty and sexual assault by penetration. At the time of the offences in 2016, the victim was just six.
Two other charges of sexual assault were considered in sentencing.
About the case
The man was in a romantic relationship with the victim's mother between 2013 and 2018, and lived with her, the victim and the victim's brother in the mother's one-bedroom flat.
He also fathered two children with the victim's mother, who were born in 2016 and 2017.
Although the man and woman were not married, the victim referred to him as her father and he also treated her as his own daughter.
The couple would sleep on a bed in the living room of the flat while the victim and her brother would sleep on mattresses on the floor.
"The accused and mother also periodically consumed ‘ice’ together. This would typically occur in the kitchen at night, while the children were sleeping," said Deputy Public Prosecutors G. Kannan, Angela Ang and Ryan Lim.
One night in 2016, the man wanted to have sex with the woman but she wanted to smoke 'ice' in the kitchen. So he walked over the victim's mattress and sat next to her as she slept.
"The accused then proceeded to slip his hand into the victim’s pants and underwear and held the victim’s buttocks (skin-to-skin), with the intention of outraging the victim’s modesty. The accused did this for a while before removing his hand from the victim’s pants and joining the mother in the kitchen to smoke ‘ice’," said the prosecutors.
On another night in 2016, the man went up to the victim as she slept, pulled her pants down and inserted his finger into her anus.
The victim had woken up but remained silent as she was unsure of what he was doing. "The victim felt very uncomfortable and tried to move away but was unable to do so. She remained quiet during the incident as she was afraid," said the prosecutors.
"The accused only stopped his actions when he heard the mother exiting the kitchen toilet. He then quickly pulled up the victim’s pants," they added.
The victim felt disgusted by what the man did but did not tell anyone about it as she was afraid that he would punish her for doing so.
The man was admitted into the Drug Rehabilitation Centre for drug consumption in 2017 and the victim and her brother were referred to a children's shelter by the Child Protective Service as their mother was unable to adequately care for them after the birth of the man's children in 2016 and 2017.
A social worker later found out about the incidents in 2019 and made a police report.
Although the victim does not suffer from post-traumatic disorder, she receives art therapy at the shelter to support her emotional regulation, said the prosecutors.
For outraging the modesty of a minor, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, fined and caned.
The punishment for sexual penetration of a minor is between eight and 20 years' jail, with at least 12 strokes of the cane.
Stay in the know on-the-go: Join Yahoo Singapore's Telegram channel at http://t.me/YahooSingapore
More Singapore stories: