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2 years and 8 months’ jail for man who molested 3 young stepdaughters

SINGAPORE — He molested all three of his stepdaughters aged 11 to 15 soon after he married their mother at the end of 2013, leaving them with deep psychological scars.

A 52-year-old Singaporean found guilty of molesting his stepdaughters is planning to appeal his conviction and sentence and remains out on S$20,000 bail.

A 52-year-old Singaporean found guilty of molesting his stepdaughters is planning to appeal his conviction and sentence and remains out on S$20,000 bail.

  • The Singaporean, now 52, was found guilty of molesting his stepdaughters around 2014 and 2015
  • The girls were aged 11 to 15
  • They first told their mother what happened in 2017, but chose to give him a chance
  • He was arrested in February 2019, and plans to appeal his conviction and sentence

 

SINGAPORE — He molested all three of his stepdaughters aged 11 to 15 soon after he married their mother at the end of 2013, leaving them with deep psychological scars. 

The 52-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identities of the girls, was on Monday (March 22) jailed two years and eight months.

He was also given 18 weeks’ jail in lieu of nine strokes of the cane. Offenders aged 50 or older cannot be caned by law.

He violated his stepdaughters at a Housing and Development Board flat in the northeastern region of Singapore. 

The man and the girls’ mother have since divorced. 

His lawyer Luo Ling Ling told the court that the man maintains that he did not commit the crimes, and would appeal his conviction and sentence.

He remains out on S$20,000 bail.

Earlier this year, the man was convicted of molesting the oldest girl, then 14 to 15, sometime in July 2014 or July 2015 by grabbing her chest over her clothes. 

He was also found guilty of committing the same acts against the two younger girls — then aged 13 to 14, and 11 to 12 — around 2014 or 2015.

The girls moved to Singapore at the end of 2013 to join their mother, who was already working here. 

Sentencing the man on Monday, District Judge Eddy Tham said that the victims were “clearly in a vulnerable state”, given that they were in a new environment with a “newly formed family nucleus, new school and foreign country”.

“They were clearly in a very dependent relationship with the accused, who provided a roof over their heads and (was their) new father. It was hence very difficult for them to expose him,” the judge said.

He also found that the crimes left the girls with great psychological harm, although no victim impact statement was produced in court.

GAVE HIM A CHANCE

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Sruthi Boppana said in her closing submissions that the girls had chosen not to tell their mother what happened until 2017, when she chanced on a conversation between the two younger girls.

The girls were confiding in each other when their mother, who was arguing with the man, entered the room and heard what they were discussing.

The family met at a prata shop without him a few weeks later to discuss the matter. It was then that the oldest girl also disclosed what he had done to her. 

They decided to give him a chance in hopes that he would mend his ways.

His crimes came to light only in February 2019, when police officers responded to an unrelated complaint about excessive noise from the flat. 

He was drunk and complained that the girls did not seem to respect him.

Their mother reported the acts of molestation to the police then. 

The next day, she went to the police station with the youngest girl to bail him out, and he apologised to all of them and conceded that he was in the wrong. 

He moved out of the flat a few days later and started divorce proceedings.

FEARFUL

The man and the girls’ mother got to know each other through work and registered their marriage around the end of 2013. 

The girls immigrated to Singapore from their hometown in Malaysia.

The family shared a flat, where the couple used the master bedroom. The girls shared another bedroom and slept in a bunk bed.

Around 2014 or 2015, the youngest girl, who was in Primary 4, testified that she was in her bedroom using her mobile phone when he lay beside her. The bedroom door was partially open.

She said that he touched her breast for about a minute and she felt nervous, fearful and unsure of what to do, so she pretended that nothing was happening and continued using her phone.

As her mother had just married the man, she feared that they would break up and decided to keep her distance from him. 

The middle child testified that he molested her when she was in Primary 6. She was sleeping in the master bedroom when he touched her. 

She kept quiet about it as she was young, was also unsure of how to broach the topic with her mother and feared that she would be blamed for making false accusations.

DPP Boppana said: “While she was in Secondary 1, the accused would often touch her inappropriately whenever he gave her pocket money.” 

However, the girl still asked for his help to buy food and cigarettes, particularly because he was the only one who enabled her smoking habit.

As for the oldest girl, she said that he reeked of alcohol one night on her mother’s birthday.

When she told her stepfather that her mother had just returned home, he grabbed the girl’s breasts over her volleyball jersey from behind. She told him to let go and tried to escape by bending forward, but he held on for a few seconds until she shouted for help.

When her mother asked why she needed help, the girl said that he had touched her breasts. He let go right away.

Her mother questioned her again and, this time, she said that nothing had happened because she was afraid her mother would get into a fight with him. She also thought that it would lead to her being sent back to Malaysia.

Before this incident, he would also tap her buttocks to wake her up and she was uncomfortable with this, she said.

She began working at age 15 while still in school, because she wanted to stop relying on the man for pocket money and to limit her interactions with him at home.

For molestation, he could have been jailed up to two years or fined, or punished with both.

For molesting a minor under 14, he could have been jailed up to five years or fined, or received both penalties.

Related topics

molest court crime teenagers Divorce

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