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Man gets 23 years' jail for raping intellectually disabled daughter after wife stopped being intimate

SINGAPORE — After his wife stopped being intimate with him, a 58-year-old man turned to raping his intellectually disabled daughter multiple times over the course of three years, a court heard on Thursday (Nov 17). 

A view of the Supreme Court in Singapore, which consists of the Court of Appeal and High Court.

A view of the Supreme Court in Singapore, which consists of the Court of Appeal and High Court.

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  • A 58-year-old man was sentenced to 23 years’ jail for raping his daughter on several occasions 
  • She has a mild intellectual disability 
  • He claimed that he did so because his wife had withheld sexual intimacy from him

SINGAPORE — After his wife stopped being intimate with him, a 58-year-old man turned to raping his intellectually disabled daughter multiple times over the course of three years, a court heard on Thursday (Nov 17). 

His daughter, who was 29 when he first sexually assaulted her, did not tell anyone what happened because she was afraid that no one would believe her. 

In the High Court on Thursday, the man was handed a 23-year jail sentence after pleading guilty to two charges of rape and one charge of sexual assault by penetration.

Four other charges including voyeurism and possession of obscene films were taken into consideration. 

The man cannot be named due to a court order to protect the victim’s identity. 

SEXUAL ASSAULT BEGAN IN 2017

The man married the victim’s mother in 1987 and they have three children together. The victim is the oldest child, followed by her brother, now aged 31, and a sister now aged 29.

After their youngest daughter was born, the frequency of sexual intimacy between the man and his wife decreased, and they eventually stopped being intimate in 2000. 

To relieve his sexual urges, the man first turned to his Malaysian girlfriend but stopped sometime in 2016 after they broke up. 

The court heard that growing up, the victim got along well with her father and they shared a close father-daughter relationship. 

He was also aware that the victim had a mild intellectual disability since young. 

Court documents stated that the man's crimes began sometime in early 2017 on a weekday afternoon, when the man was alone with his daughter in their home.

He noticed that she was sleeping in her bedroom and woke her up, telling her to play a sexual game with him. Despite her objection, he removed his shorts and forced her daughter to engage in a sex act.

He then had sex with her after that without her consent, court documents said.

When the deed was done, the man told the victim not to tell her mother about the incident. 

TOLD VICTIM 'LET'S HAVE FUN'

A year later in 2018 when the both of them were alone in their flat, the man noticed his daughter using the bathroom in the master bedroom.

As she left the bathroom, the man hugged her and pulled her to the bed. 

Kissing her on the cheek, he removed their clothes and touched her all over her body before raping her.

Despite her cries of pain, he did not stop. 

Court documents stated that he was careful not to leave any marks or bruises on her because he was afraid that his wife would become suspicious. 

He also raped her once more in 2019, when they were alone in their home. After his daughter left the bathroom, the man hugged her and told her, "Let's have fun". 

Even though she rejected his advances, the man pulled down her shorts against her will and raped her. 

Worried that his wife would return home at any time, the rape lasted for less than five minutes. 

The man did not use a condom on all three occasions.

At about 11.45pm on July 8, 2020, the victim's mother realised that the oldest daughter had not returned home and decided to wait for her at the corridor outside their flat. 

As she was walking along the corridor, she noticed that the victim was at the staircase landing with her husband, who was lifting up the daughter's shirt. 

After she ran over to confront him, he immediately let go of his daughter’s shirt and apologised for what he did. The three of them then returned home.

About 45 minutes later at 12.30am on July 9, 2020, the victim's mother told her youngest daughter about what she saw.

The youngest daughter then asked the victim about what had happened and learnt that she had run into her father while returning home.

He had taken her to the staircase landing near their flat and held onto his mobile phone with one hand while lifting her shirt with the other.

Following her conversation with the victim, the youngest daughter went to the man's bedroom while he was asleep and checked his phone, where she found a video of the victim undressing herself in the bathroom. 

The next day, the victim's mother took her along to make a police report. The father was arrested on the same day. 

ABUSE OF TRUST AND AUTHORITY

In a report by the Institute of Mental Health (IMH), it was stated that the victim was "not capable of rejecting the accused's sexual advances due to her limited understanding of the nature and complications of sexual intercourse, immature social judgement and poor communication skills". 

Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) Jordon Li and Colin Ng sought a sentence of at least 25 years' jail. 

DPP Li said: "The accused not only fell short of his role as a protector but also thoroughly abused the trust and authority reposed in him." 

He added that the man had also sought to justify his offences by blaming his wife for withholding sexual intimacy from him. 

However, defence lawyer Riko Isaac said that his client was not blaming his wife and daughter for what had happened, but rather the circumstances, which included his wife's existing medical condition that caused their lack of sexual intimacy. 

"This man is not a very educated man, with all due respect... So he made a severe and terrible decision to do what he had done using his simplistic logic given the circumstance he was in,” Mr Isaac said. 

He added that despite causing hurt to his daughter and family, they found it within themselves to forgive him for his wrongdoings and were present in court to show him support. 

Justice Pang Khang Chau agreed with the prosecution’s proposed sentence. 

However, since the man was already in his 50s, Justice Pang said that “the court also needs to be mindful not to pass a crushing sentence" and sentenced him to 23 years' imprisonment. 

For each count of rape and sexual assault by penetration, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years, as well as fined and caned.

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