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Father convicted of sexually assaulting daughter over 5 years till she was 14

SINGAPORE — After enduring sexual abuse from her own father for years, a 13-year-old girl ran away from home.

Father convicted of sexually assaulting daughter over 5 years till she was 14
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  • A Singaporean man began sexually violating his daughter when she was 10 years old
  • He continued until she was 14
  • He promised to stop after they moved home and when she ran away, but the abuse continued
  • The victim told her mother about the violations three years after they had ended
  • The father will return to court on July 21 to be sentenced

 

SINGAPORE — After enduring sexual abuse from her own father for years, a 13-year-old girl ran away from home. 

She returned when the father promised he would not abuse her anymore, but months later he went back on his word and resumed violating her. 

She then fled to her mother’s home for good and finally plucked up the courage three years later to reveal what had happened.

On Tuesday (June 1), the Singaporean man, who turns 46 on Saturday, was found guilty in the High Court of 15 charges of molesting and sexually assaulting the victim from 2010 to 2014, when she was aged 10 to 14. These were related to at least eight separate incidents of abuse.

He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the identity of his daughter, now aged 21.

He had claimed trial and defended himself by saying, for example, that he had accidentally touched her in his sleep. 

Justice Audrey Lim rubbished his claims and found that the prosecution proved all the charges beyond a reasonable doubt, noting that he had admitted to his offences in statements to the police.

He will return to court on July 21 for sentencing and remains in remand.

The court earlier heard that the man and his wife had three children, including the victim. The couple divorced in 2012 following a spate of marital problems that began in 2010.

ABUSED HER THREE TO FOUR TIMES A WEEK

Prosecutors said that from 2010, the man turned to his daughter to “satisfy his sexual urges”, abusing her at night in the same bedroom where other family members were asleep, including his wife, domestic worker and two other children. 

The first time, he hugged the victim from behind and molested her. He told her to keep quiet and she did, confused about what had happened.

The next day, when she asked him about it, he said this was “sex, and this is what Mummy and Daddy do”. He also said that he would teach her more about it.

He then began sexually violating her three to four times a week, telling her she would get used to it.

They then moved to a flat in Woodlands in 2011. She urged him to stop his abuse and he promised he would. 

This lasted just for a few months before he began violating her again, going as far as sodomising her.

Around this time, she began attending sexual education classes in school and realised that what her father was doing was wrong. But he told her not to listen to her teacher, adding: “Just do as I tell you what to do.”

He also warned her that she would lose a father if anyone learnt of it.

Despite the abuse, she decided to follow him when they moved back to the Yishun flat in 2012, as she was not close to her mother and not comfortable with her new stepfather.

When the divorce was finalised, the victim and her brother continued to live with the father, while the mother gained sole custody of the third child.

At the victim's insistence, her father bought a double-decker bed. She hoped that sleeping on the upper deck would prevent him from violating her. He also promised he would stop abusing her.

When he asked her to sleep with him on the lower deck, she agreed, trusting that he would keep his word, but he did not.

'GIRL’S BEHAVIOUR WAS NOT UNUSUAL'

Eventually, in December 2013, the girl ran away to her mother’s flat in Bukit Batok, telling the older woman that her father was not taking care of her properly.

A few days later, the father turned up there and apologised to her, asking for another chance and again promising to stop sexually abusing her. Trusting him, she agreed to move back with him.

The abuse stopped for a few months but continued again even as she tried resisting him. Over time, she grew resigned and did not know what else to do to stop him.

He abused her for the last time at the end of 2014, when she had just finished her Secondary 2 examinations. 

She ran away from home again, and he eventually let her stay with her mother on the condition that she continued to stay silent about the sexual abuse. She agreed and soon stopped talking to him altogether.

Aside from confiding in her best friend in 2015, she did not tell anyone what had happened until November 2017, when her stepfather asked her why she hated her father.

She confided in him and he told her mother what she had said. 

When her mother asked her directly about the issue, she initially denied anything had happened. It was only days later that she revealed her ordeal, but said that she did not wish to make a police report as she was concerned about her brother, who was still living with the biological father.

Her mother persuaded her to report the matter to the police.

During the trial, the girl testified behind closed doors that the sexual abuse affected her sleep and school performance, and changed her perception of the role of a father. Even after moving in with her mother, she continued having trouble sleeping at night.

Justice Lim told the court that the girl’s behaviour throughout the years of abuse, such as agreeing to continue living with her father, did not undermine her credibility and was not unusual in light of her young age and her close relationship with him.

“Her reluctance (to tell what happened), even to family members, must be seen in light of the circumstances and her fear of the consequences that would flow,” the judge added.

For each charge of sexual assault by penetration, the father could be jailed for up to 20 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.

For molestation of a minor under 14, he could be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or receive any combination of the three.

Related topics

court crime sexual abuse family Divorce

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