SINGAPORE, Sept 25 — Whenever she was staying over at her uncle’s place, a young girl was sexually abused by him while his wife and son were busy or asleep.
This happened from 2016 to 2018, when she was aged between eight and 10.
Today, the 42-year-old former Grab driver was jailed three years and given six strokes of the cane.
He cannot be named due to a court order to protect the identity of the girl, who is now aged 12.
The Singaporean man pleaded guilty in a district court to three charges of aggravated outrage of modesty and procuring an indecent act from a child, with four other similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that the girl’s parents are divorced and she was under her father’s custody, but was primarily looked after by her paternal grandmother. They lived together in an Ang Mo Kio flat.
The girl’s uncle saw her around 2014 when he visited her grandmother, who is his mother-in-law. He then began visiting and playing with her there.
When she turned seven years old, she began staying overnight at his home during the weekends and school holidays. He also regularly asked her to care for his young son.
The man and his wife also took her out for meals and played with her, since her parents did not spend much time with her. She regarded him as a close family member.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jaime Pang said: “Around this time, the accused capitalised on the innocence of the victim and utilised the privacy of (his home) to sexually abuse the victim, in order to satisfy his own sexual desires.”
When she was eight, he blindfolded her before forcing her to perform a sex act on him.
On one occasion, when the girl was 10 years old, he asked her to lie in bed with him before rubbing his private parts against her 20 to 30 times.
Another time, he molested her in a bedroom and told her to “massage her breasts more so they would grow faster”, DPP Pang said.
In mitigation, the man’s lawyer, Peter Keith Fernando, said he was “extremely remorseful and contrite” for his actions and had written a letter of apology to the victim and her family.
“He remains a loving father and caregiver to his family,” the lawyer said.
A psychiatrist had found that the man was suffering from major depression during the time of psychiatric assessment.
When he committed the offences, he was watching pornography excessively to cope with “unresolved grief symptoms” over his father’s suicide.
He is now taking antidepressants and has learned coping techniques, in order to prevent himself from watching pornography during stressful times, Fernando added.
District Judge Ng Peng Hong said that he had committed “very serious” offences and a deterrent sentence was needed.
For molesting a minor, the man could have been jailed up to five years, fined or caned, or any combination of the three. — TODAY