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Jail, caning for man who raped wife’s 12-year-old sister, sent her sexually explicit messages

SINGAPORE — After sending his underaged sister-in-law multiple text messages of a sexual nature, a man invited her to his rental flat and raped her there when no one else was home.

 Jail, caning for man who raped wife’s 12-year-old sister, sent her sexually explicit messages
  • A man grew close to his wife's underaged sister who was half his age
  • He sent the 12-year-old lewd messages and invited her to his flat, sexually violating and raping her there
  • She told a friend about it about four months later
  • A judge rejected his lawyer's argument that his mental illness, schizophrenia, contributed to his offences

SINGAPORE — After sending his underaged sister-in-law multiple text messages of a sexual nature, a man invited her to his rental flat and raped her there when no one else was home.

He persisted in sending her more text messages when she went back to her own home, suggesting a video call while she was in the shower and asking for nude photos of her.

His offences came to light only a few months later. She had told her friend about the messages, which led to her aunt finding out and taking her to Police Cantonment Complex to lodge a police report.

On Tuesday (April 12), the 26-year-old Singaporean man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity, was sentenced in the High Court to 10 years’ jail and six strokes of the cane for statutory rape.

Nine other similar charges, including sexual assault by penetration, were taken into consideration for sentencing.

The man was also jailed another three weeks after pleading guilty to an unrelated cheating charge. He had cheated a buyer on e-marketplace Carousell of S$200 for Universal Studio Singapore tickets in 2016.

He was given a 24-month conditional warning for this in 2019, but breached it by raping his sister-in-law.


The court heard that he first got to know the victim, who turns 15 this year, in 2011 when he began dating her half-sister.

He then married the older woman in 2019 and they had a son together.

The victim's father was in prison and her mother did not care for her, so she stayed with other relatives such as her grandparents.

Around the end of 2019, he started texting her more frequently over WhatsApp. They had never met alone before this, only seeing each other at family gatherings twice a month and engaging in small talk.

In his messages, he asked her about her Primary School Leaving Examination results, which had just been released, and invited her to visit his flat.

She declined but accepted a subsequent invitation on Feb 19, 2020.

That day, he sent her numerous sexually explicit messages. He also told her not to tell anyone that she was visiting him because no one else was home.

When she got to his flat at about 6.30pm, she was wearing her school physical education attire. They had dinner and sat on his sofa with an empty seat between them, silently using their mobile phones.

He then sent her a lewd photo, asking her if she wanted to watch pornography “rather than we sit like this doing nothing”. He also suggested performing obscene acts on her, which she refused.

Eventually, he moved closer to her, kissed her neck and then raped her on the sofa.

When his phone rang, he stopped and told her to wash up. She got dressed and went to the toilet, fighting the urge to cry because she did not want him to know she had cried.

After she left the toilet, he apologised and asked if she was okay. She replied yes and he booked her a private-hire ride home, later texting her: “Hope what happened just now stays between us.”

In the following days, she rejected his numerous requests for sex as well as sexual images or videos.

When she turned him down, he asked her to send him “a voice note of you moaning”.

On June 3, 2020, she told a friend about his messages. The friend told her mother, who relayed this to the victim’s paternal aunt.

That same day, the aunt spoke to the girl, who showed her their chat logs and told her they had had sex. With her aunt’s assistance, the girl reported the rape to the police two days later.


Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Suhas Malhotra, who sought 10 years and four weeks’ jail, highlighted certain text message exchanges to show there was “quite a dramatic power imbalance” between the man and girl that evening.

A few minutes before the rape, she had told him she was having a mental crisis.

DPP Malhotra told the court: “She was a young child, barely 12, who had just finished primary school. He was an adult member of her extended family.

“She did everything in her power (to reject him), saying she had a mental crisis, so he changed tack and said, ‘How about I just kiss your neck?’. Then the sexual behaviour escalated.”

The prosecutor said this was precisely the kind of exploitative behaviour that “the offence of statutory rape is meant to punish and deter”.

In mitigation, the man’s lawyer Benedict Eoon referred to a psychiatrist’s report that stated the man's schizophrenia had a contributory link to his offences.

The defence counsel also said the text messages revealed that the girl “was able to say no and could make up her own mind”.

High Court judge Dedar Singh Gill rejected the defence psychiatrist’s findings, instead accepting those by the prosecution’s psychiatrist that his behaviour was within the range of normal human sexuality.

The man had reported feeling sexually aroused when using the dating app Tinder, having regular sex with his wife, and not seeing commercial sex workers after completing his National Service.

The judge found that he was able to exercise self-control and restraint at the time, and had “worked on (the victim) to persuade her” to engage in acts that culminated in the rape.

Justice Gill further noted that the rape was planned and premeditated, and the man had applied some pressure on the girl through his persistence.

The man, who appeared via video-link from prison, apologised to the court for his actions and asked for leniency as these were his first offences. He added that his family has been "very supportive".

"I hope that you can maybe show me your mercy maybe not for me but for my family, especially my loved ones, my wife and my son. I really want to see my son grow in front of me under my care and attention," he told Justice Gill.

Those convicted of statutory rape can be jailed for up to 20 years, caned or both. Those convicted of cheating can be jailed for up to 10 years and fined.

Related topics

court crime sexual assault rape sexual crime cheating

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