SINGAPORE, Aug 15 — A 59-year-old unemployed man who sexually assaulted his long-time friend’s two young daughters over four years was sentenced to 23 years’ jail in the High Court yesterday.
This included one year of imprisonment in lieu of the maximum 24 strokes of the cane, as offenders above 50 years old cannot be caned by law.
Justice Pang Khang Chau noted that the sentence was “not crushing” as the man would be released when he is about 72 years old, if he gets remission for good behaviour. He has been remanded since June 2017.
Earlier this year, the Singaporean pleaded guilty to three charges of aggravated sexual assault by penetration, committed when he was between 51 and 55 years old.
Seven other charges, including aggravated molestation, were taken into consideration for sentencing.
He had previously complained of a migraine, which he suspected was from a growth in his head, among other medical conditions.
However, the judge noted that a magnetic resonance imaging scan showed no signs of a tumour, while the other conditions “do not appear to be life-threatening or otherwise affecting the accused’s life expectancy.”
He was close friends with their father, who would ask the man to help look after his family when he was in prison.
He showered the girls with gifts, and they in turn called him “bapak” (father in Malay).
The man began staying overnight at their flat on weekends in 2011, after divorcing his wife.
Sometime that year, he began sexually assaulting the older girl who was nine years old then. He told her to kiss him on the lips, then asked her to perform sex acts on him while her younger sister, aged seven, was sleeping beside them.
In 2013, he took the younger girl out in a car, drove to the top floor of a multi-storey car park, which was deserted, and sexually assaulted her.
He warned her not to tell anyone about what happened or he would not be able to visit her family anymore. She agreed because she wanted him to continue spending time with them.
Between January and May 2015, after she was sexually assaulted, the older girl tried to tell her parents about what the man did, but they did not act on the information because they did not understand her.
That same year, when the older girl was in Secondary 2, she attended a science lesson where she learned about sexual offences involving victims under 16 years old.
She told her boyfriend what the man did to her, but did not report the matter to the police as she was afraid that the man would face consequences.
The offences only came to light in 2017, when she was placed in Pertapis Centre for Women and Girls after displaying suicidal tendencies.
During a session with her child protection officer from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, she finally revealed that she had been sexually abused. A police report was then lodged. — TODAY