SINGAPORE, Oct 5 — A 29-year-old man pleaded guilty today (October 5) to having underage sex with his girlfriend’s daughter from when she was 14.
The girl, who regarded the man as her father, ended up pregnant and gave birth last year at age 15.
He cannot be named due to a court order protecting the identity of the girl, who is now 17.
The man was convicted of three counts of sex with a minor under the age of 16 and will be sentenced on a later date.
District Judge Carol Ling granted the prosecution an adjournment for them to prepare their sentencing submissions for the case, which is believed to be the first such case after amendments to the penal code took effect last year that raised the penalties for underage sex involving an exploitative relationship.
The court heard today that the man first met his girlfriend and her daughter in 2015.
The next year, the man moved in with his girlfriend and her daughter joined them a few months later.
Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) Jamie Pang told the court that for the first year and a half, the man and the girl did not have a close relationship as she had previously been sexually abused by a family member when she was between 10 and 12 years old.
She generally avoided her mother’s boyfriend as she was still affected by the past ordeal, said DPP Pang.
Eventually, the man earned the girl’s trust by assuming the role of a father figure that she was lacking because her biological father was in jail.
The man would shower the girl with affection by spending relatively large sums of money to celebrate her birthday and take her out for her favourite activities. He would also care for her when she was ill and help her with her homework.
Over time, the two developed a relationship akin to father and daughter with the girl calling him “daddy”, DPP Pang said.
“The way the accused treated (the girl) made her feel secure, and he provided her with the love and affection that she yearned for but was unable to get from her biological father, who was incarcerated,” he added.
Sometime in late 2018, they began having unprotected “consensual” sex regularly at home while the man’s girlfriend was at work, said the DPP.
The man was unemployed at the time.
This continued for more than a year and the girl became pregnant.
In 2020, when her pregnancy was causing too much discomfort, they switched to having oral sex.
On May 14, 2020, the girl was admitted to the National University Hospital for severe stomach pain.
A medical staff ascertained it to be labour contractions and alerted the police as the girl was 15 years old.
The Immigrations and Checkpoints Authority also alerted the police two weeks later when the girl showed up to register the birth of her daughter and did not indicate any details of the child’s father on the birth certificate.
The man was arrested in his home in July and a DNA test determined that he was the biological father of the girl’s child.
A doctor found that the man’s repeated sexual abuse had caused the girl to have passive suicidal thoughts.
She also suffered from moodiness, irritability, had difficulty sleeping and a worry that her daughter might hate her if she eventually found out who her biological father is, the doctor said.
For having sex with a minor between 14 and 16 years old, an offender could be jailed up to 10 years, fined or punished with both. If the offender’s relationship is exploitative of the victim, the offender could be jailed up to 20 years and liable to be fined or caned. ― TODAY