SINGAPORE, July 21 — After a 13-year-old girl fled from home because her father sexually abused her, he promised to stop his acts if she returned.
She did, but he went back on his word and dialled up the abuse.
He forced her to stay silent by telling her that she would lose a father if anyone found out what he was doing.
She plucked up the courage only three years later to tell her mother and stepfather what happened.
The High Court today sentenced the Singaporean father to 29 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
The 46-year-old was found guilty after going on trial for 15 charges of sexually assaulting and molesting the victim from 2010 to 2014, when she was aged 10 to 14.
These charges were related to at least eight incidents of abuse.
The man cannot be named because of a court order to protect his daughter’s identity. She is now 21.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Eugene Lee and Colin Ng sought a stiffer sentence of at least 31 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane, saying that the public interest demanded a significant sentence “to fully encapsulate the seriousness of the offences and society’s abhorrence for such actions”.
“The accused has utterly failed to act in a manner befitting of a father figure, exploiting his biological daughter in the sanctity of her own home and exploiting the trust that she reposed in him,” they added.
They said that he also made “scandalous assertions” about his daughter during the trial to humiliate and discredit her.
These included a claim that she set him up after he discovered that she engaged in premarital sex with her boyfriend.
From 2010, he turned to her to satisfy his sexual urges, abusing her at night in the same bedroom where other family members — including his wife, domestic helper and two other children — were asleep.
After molesting her for the first time, he told her that it was “sex, and this is what Mummy and Daddy do”.
He later went as far as to sodomise her.
During the trial, the man’s daughter testified behind closed doors that the abuse affected her sleep and performance in school, and changed her perception of a father’s role.
Even after moving in with her mother, she continued having trouble sleeping at night.
The man’s lawyers from Abdul Rahman Law Corporation had asked for a lighter sentence of 18 years’ jail and 15 strokes of the cane.
In mitigation, they told the court that their client was a good father to the victim up until he committed the crimes.
For each charge of sexual assault by penetration, the man could have been jailed for up to 20 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.
For molesting a minor under 14, he could have received a jail term of up to five years, a fine, caning, or any combination of the three. — TODAY