SINGAPORE — A 51-year-old man who sexually assaulted his daughter for nearly a decade has been sentenced to 29 years behind bars for what a High Court judge called his “clearly and totally reprehensible” behaviour.
The man began abusing the girl in 2006 when she was about six years old. It was only in 2017, after she had just left secondary school, that she confided in a friend and then her mother about the abuse. Her mother moved the girl to a relative’s home, then reported the matter to police.
The father, who cannot be named to protect the now 18-year-old girl’s identity, pleaded guilty to two counts of statutory rape and one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
Judicial Commissioner Audrey Lim took six other similar charges into consideration in sentencing. The man’s jail time includes one extra year in lieu of 24 strokes of the cane, which he cannot receive by law as he is above 50 years old.
This was the second case in two days where a father was dealt with in the courts for preying on his young daughter. On Monday, a 53-year-old man was sentenced to 12-and-a-half years’ jail for sexually assaulting his daughter over about four years.
Did not use a condom
The court heard that the man began abusing the girl by touching her private parts. This happened in the flat they shared with the girl’s mother and her younger brother.
About three years later, in 2009, he began performing sex acts on her on numerous occasions to satisfy a particular sexual fantasy.
In December 2011, the man took his two children to his sister’s flat for a sleepover during Christmas. All of them slept in a guest bedroom there.
In the middle of the night, while the girl was asleep, he touched and violated her private parts. She was 11 years old then.
In 2012, he had sex with her without using a condom and then continued to engage in sexual acts with her at least once a month.
This continued for several years even after she started to dislike what he was doing to her. He assaulted her less frequently towards the end of 2015, and the last time he had sex with her was in January 2016.
She began to realise around then that what her father was doing was wrong, but she was concerned about telling her mother as it could tear her family apart.
In May 2017, when she was in her first year of post-secondary education, she finally told a close friend that her father was having sex with her.
After her friend’s encouragement, she approached her mother, who quickly began arranging for the girl to move out to stay at an aunt’s place. They lodged a police report against him on June 7, 2017, and he was arrested the next day.
‘Not trying to make excuses’
Asking for 31 years’ imprisonment, Deputy Public Prosecutors (DPPs) James Chew and Angela Ang noted that it was an “appalling” case of a child who was subjected to years of sexual abuse by her own father, who should have cared for and protected her.
“This was conduct of a high level of perversion and gravity. The strongest measure of deterrence, both general and specific, is clearly required here,” DPP Chew said.
The prosecutors also argued for jail time to be imposed in place of caning, as the man had just passed the statutory age for caning.
The man’s lawyer Sherman Ho told the court that his client has turned to religion since being remanded in prison, and has gone for courses on anger management and mindfulness.
“He’s not trying to make excuses — he’s here to face consequences. He hopes he can come out and reconnect with his family. He understands that his family has disowned him,” Mr Ho said.
Judicial Commissioner Lim noted that there was a clear and flagrant abuse of position and breach of trust, where the man repeatedly violated the girl over a long period.
“While the accused pleaded guilty, the acts committed against his very own daughter were clearly and totally reprehensible, and deserve a severe punishment,” she added.
For statutory rape, he could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned. For sexual assault by penetration of a minor under 14 years old, he could have been jailed up to 20 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane. — TODAY