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Jail for porn-watching youth who sexually abused 7-year-old cousin staying with him in grandparents’ flat

SINGAPORE — Instead of looking out for the well-being of his young cousin while she was staying with him and his family, a Singaporean youth used her to fulfil his sexual fantasies, which were borne out of watching pornography.

A youth took his cousin to a common staircase landing at the block of flats where their grandparents lived and got her to perform various sex acts on him
A youth took his cousin to a common staircase landing at the block of flats where their grandparents lived and got her to perform various sex acts on him
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  • A seven-year-old girl was living with her teenage cousin during 2012 and 2013
  • She was being looked after by their grandfather 
  • Her cousin had sexually assaulted her over a period of six months during these two years
  • The cousin, then 18 years old, had been watching pornography and used her for sexual gratification

SINGAPORE — Instead of looking out for the well-being of his young cousin while she was staying with him and his family, a Singaporean youth used her to fulfil his sexual fantasies, which were borne out of watching pornography.

The prosecution told the court on Monday (Sept 12) that the girl was aged seven when her cousin began sexually preying on her in 2012.

The man, now 28, was sentenced to eight years and six months’ jail, along with six strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to a charge each of sexual penetration of a minor below the age of 16 and using criminal force to outrage his cousin’s modesty.

Six other similar charges, which included possession of obscene films and sexual exploitation of a minor, were taken into consideration for the man’s sentencing, which was backdated to July 1 in 2020, the date of his remand.

A court order prevents disclosure of the man’s name in order to protect the victim’s identity.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Teo Lu Jia told the court that the girl is the man’s paternal cousin.

The offences took place on various occasions over 2012 and 2013 while the victim was residing with the man — who was about 18 years old then — in their grandparents' three-room public flat in Yishun.

DPP Teo said that the girl was being looked after by her grandparents because she “did not receive much care and concern from her parents”.

The cousin's parents and his two siblings were also living in the flat.   

Over time, the girl developed a close relationship with her cousins, which included the accused.

DPP Teo described the accused as someone who had begun watching pornography when he was 12 years old, which included genres involving “teachers, as well as child pornography”.

At some point, the youth “started to fantasise about doing sexual acts with the victim… based on the pornography he had been watching”, DPP Teo added.

He then began sexually assaulting the girl on multiple occasions over a period of six months between 2012 and 2013 when he was alone with her.

Usually, he would take the girl to a common staircase landing at the block of flats where their grandparents lived and got her to perform various sex acts on him.

Thereafter, he would take her to a convenience store nearby to buy a snack, and made her promise not to tell anyone what had happened.

DPP Teo said that the girl complied each time because she not only did not know how to react, but was scared as well.

The cousin eventually got bolder and started taking advantage of the girl in the bedroom to engage in sex acts with her.

The victim eventually returned to her family home sometime in 2013, and when the cousins met during Chinese New Year gatherings, the youth would “conduct himself as though nothing had happened”, DPP Teo said.

In June 2020, the victim, who was a teenager by then, had an argument with her boyfriend over an unrelated incident and threatened to commit suicide.

She was then admitted to the Institute of Mental Health and she later confided in another cousin about what had happened when she was a child.

DPP Teo, who sought a jail term of between 8.5 to 10 years, along with six strokes of the cane, said that the victim felt "emotional, disgusted, hopeless and unwanted" as a result of the sexual abuse and would engage in self-harm.

The man’s lawyer, Mr Raphael Louis, told the court that the prosecution’s sentence proposal was a fair one.

“Although my client was young, (the offences) were still serious. So my instructions, Your Honour, are to agree with the prosecution’s submissions,” he said.

Anyone who uses criminal force to outrage the modesty of a minor below the age of 14 can be punished with a jail term of up to five years, or fined, or caned, or with a combination of any of these punishments.

Anyone who sexually penetrates a minor below the age of 14 can be jailed for up to 20 years and be fined or caned.

Related topics

crime court sexual abuse sexual assault cousin family pornography child sexual abuse

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