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Reformative training for youth who sexually abused 9-year-old cousin for 3 years

SINGAPORE — He began molesting his nine-year-old cousin when he was 13, with his sexual acts escalating over the next three years.

Reformative training for youth who sexually abused 9-year-old cousin for 3 years

The youth's offences, which began when the girl was nine, only came to light three years later when she felt pain in her abdomen and thought she was pregnant.

  • He was 13 years old when he first began sexually abusing his cousin
  • His offences only came to light when he was 17 
  • His lawyer, who earlier sought probation, said he will consider appealing against the sentence

 

SINGAPORE — He began molesting his nine-year-old cousin when he was 13, with his sexual acts escalating over the next three years.

He repeatedly sodomised the girl and forced her to perform oral sex on him, telling her to keep quiet about what he had done to her.

For his actions, the youth, who is now 20 years old, was sentenced on Thursday (Oct 29) to at least a year of reformative training — a regimented rehabilitation programme for offenders under 21 who commit relatively serious crimes.

He cannot be named due to a court gag order to protect the victim’s identity.

The youth pleaded guilty in August to three counts of molestation and sexual penetration of a minor. Fourteen other similar charges were considered for sentencing.

The court previously heard that he is waiting to enlist in National Service and had been offered a place in Nanyang Technological University.

His lawyer Choo Si Sen, who previously sought a probation report, said his client may be appealing against the sentence. 

District Judge Ronald Gwee said the 20-year-old had “committed a horrendous crime against a young and very vulnerable relative” which will “likely have a lasting and deep-seated effect on her”.

“I note the positive steps taken by the accused but I cannot ignore the very serious nature of the offence… this sentence is meant to reform him and also meant to prevent crime,” he said.

Offenders are given a minimum period of reformative training that is subject to how they respond to the rehabilitation. It is a harsher punishment than probation, which allows young offenders to continue with their education or employment while serving their sentences.

WHAT HAPPENED

The victim regarded her cousin as her older brother. 

From a young age, they played together and he occasionally helped her with her schoolwork.

At one point, she stayed in his home while waiting for her parents’ new flat to be ready.

In 2014, the then-13-year-old teenager was visiting the girl’s flat when he saw her emerge from the shower naked. 

While he was not initially aroused, “the desire to see the victim naked again began to fester in his mind”, Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Chong Kee En told the court.

Several months later, he seized his chance when she stayed over at his flat and they were alone.

“He felt the urge to touch her and asked if he could do so, knowing she did not fully understand the import of his request. She nodded her head and he removed her clothing,” the prosecutor said.

Afterwards, he felt disgusted with himself but felt the consequences of his actions were “not as bad”, thinking she probably could not understand what had happened.

He eventually began sodomising her and forcing her to give him oral sex.

One day in August 2017, she felt pain in her abdomen and thought she was pregnant. 

She eventually confided in her close friends who then told their teachers. 

She told the authorities that while her cousin had not threatened her, he told her not to tell anybody about what he had done. 

While she felt uneasy about the sexual acts, she did not understand the seriousness of the matter.

She also kept quiet as she did want to cause any friction between their two families who were close, DPP Chong said.

“She felt ‘sad’ at the thought of the accused being punished and was worried about how her aunt and grandmother would take the news,” he added.

When interviewed by the authorities, the youth said that he had continued his acts as she had always replied that she was okay afterwards.

An Institute of Mental Health psychiatrist, who found that he had no mental illness and could differentiate right from wrong, said that the offences were committed due to a lack of supervision.

He was raised by a single mother who had cancer from 2006 to 2011.

The two cousins now only interact with each other at family gatherings where there is close parental supervision.

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crime family molest court

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