Some acts simply make us lose our faith in humanity.
Parents are supposed to be protectors of their children, so it is even more abhorrent when they instead become the predators of their children.
Sexually Abused Daughter Over a Period of 5 Years
A man started sexually touching his daughter when she was 10 years old, escalating the abuse until he raped her at least once a month from 2017 to June 2018.
The abuse occurred while the girl was between the ages of 10 and 14.
On Monday (4 Apr), the 41-year-old man was sentenced to 24 years’ jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane.
The man pleaded guilty to three counts of rape and aggravated rape. Additionally, another five charges of sexual offences against his daughter were considered for sentencing.
He was a Singapore Armed Forces (SAF) regular at the time of the offences. Due to a gag order to protect the victim’s identity, the perpetrator’s name was redacted in court documents.
“Safer” to be Intimate With Him
During the investigations, the offender said that he had committed the sexual crimes because he did not want his daughter to seek sexual intimacy with “other boys” who might “trash her”.
But most despicably, he claimed it would be “safer” to be intimate with him as he knew “how to use protection”.
Timeline of Assaults
The offender who lived together with his wife, the victim and the victim’s younger sister carried out the acts of abuse in his in-laws’ home, his parents’ home and the family home.
He started touching the victim sexually in 2014 or 2015 when she was in Primary 4 or Primary 5. This happened when he went into her room to pat her to sleep.
It wasn’t until December 2016 that the sexual assaults escalated to rape. However, as the victim was scared of her father, she did not struggle or resist.
During one such assault between January 2017 and March 2017, when the victim was 12 to 13, the offender was worried that the condom he was wearing had broken during the rape.
The next day, after picking up his daughter from school, he gave her a “morning after” birth control pill which she took.
Discovered By Wife
On 24 June 2018, the abuse was finally discovered when the girl’s mother walked into a room in the family home and saw the abuse.
The woman shouted at her husband, demanding to know what he was doing to their daughter.
She forced her husband out of the room and asked her daughter what had happened, but the girl was crying and was unable to answer.
Although the victim’s mother intended to report the offences, her daughter told her not to do so as she did not want anything to happen to her father.
The victim’s mother eventually found out that her husband had previously had sex with their daughter.
She did not report the offences as she was concerned about the victim and her younger sister, the court heard. The offender had also begged his wife for forgiveness.
On 31 July 2019, the victim eventually reported the offences.
Victim Suffers from PTSD
After reporting the abuse, the victim received social service intervention from the Ministry of Social and Family Development.
She was brought to stay at a home for girls, and eventually reintegrated with her mother and younger sister.
During her stay at the girls’ home, she was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder.
A psychologist found that the victim’s exposure to sexual grooming and abuse by her father had likely led to confusion about healthy sexual boundaries.
In October 2019, the victim said she felt sad and fearful as a result of her father’s actions, and suffered from insomnia, panic attacks, nightmares and recurrent thoughts of the abuse.
A psychiatrist noted that places the victim had visited with her father, people who resembled him, things he bought for her and the same model of car that he drove – all reminded her of the assaults.
The girl also had difficulty concentrating in class, had suicidal thoughts and harmed herself.
She continued to experience flashbacks of the offences when she was alone at home, according to a victim impact statement taken in January.
She is afraid to hear keys jingling or the main door opening and closing, as these used to signal her father’s return home.
Breached Trust Between Father and Daughter
Deputy Public Prosecutor Christopher Ong said that the offender had “robbed his own daughter of her innocence”.
“There can really be no more abhorrent betrayal of blood and parental duty than what the accused has done to his own flesh and blood,” said Mr Ong.
The prosecution highlighted the offender’s egregious abuse of trust, his rape of a young and vulnerable victim, his premeditation and the psychological harm to the victim.
The offender was represented by Mr Josephus Tan and Mr Cory Wong of Invictus Law, who argued for not more than 18 to 20 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane.
They highlighted that the offender decided to plead guilty early, before the charges against him were finalised. He also cooperated with the authorities as soon as investigations started.
“Just because [he] has been charged with sexual offending, it does not necessarily mean that he is also an individual devoid of integrity or is beyond redemption,” they said.
In sentencing, Justice Ang Cheng Hock said the offender’s acts were “utterly abhorrent” and a “perverse breach” of the trust that should exist between father and daughter.
He said the court had to send a strong message that the man’s actions cannot be condoned and that he should be punished severely.
The penalty for aggravated rape is between eight years and 20 years’ jail and at least 12 strokes of the cane. The punishment for rape is a jail term of up to 20 years’ jail and a fine or caning.
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