SINGAPORE: A 52-year-old man who molested his daughter while she was half-asleep was sentenced to jail for a year and four months on Tuesday (May 21).
The man, who cannot be named in order to protect the identity of his daughter, has been addicted to pornography for 20 to 30 years, his defence lawyer said.
The man pleaded guilty to one charge of using criminal force to outrage the modesty of the 14-year-old girl, with a second similar charge taken into consideration.
The court heard that he lived in a flat with his nurse wife and daughter. The child slept on the same queen-sized bed as her father, said Deputy Public Prosecutor Seah Ee Wei.
The man molested his child once in January last year, and again in March that year.
On the second occasion, the girl's mother was on the night shift. The 14-year-old was "half-asleep" on the same bed as her father when he molested her, the court was told.
Feeling uncomfortable and afraid, the girl turned on her side, with her back facing him, hoping he would stop. He continued to molest her and pulled down her pants before removing his own shorts and rubbing himself against her.
When the child could not endure it any longer, she sat up with her back facing her father and both of them left the bed, pretending that nothing had happened.
The girl was very affected by the incident, the court heard, and could not concentrate in school or on anything she did.
She was disturbed and embarrassed by the incident and started to connect other acts of the accused in the past, such as asking her to sit on his lap, to "ulterior intent on the part of the accused", said the prosecutor.
The child was afraid to confront her father and did not dare to tell her mother about what had happened, as she was afraid she would not believe her.
The crime was exposed when her teacher observed a change in the teenager's manner and referred her to the school counsellor. An officer with the Ministry of Social and Family Development later took the girl to make a police report.
The prosecution asked for at least 14 months' jail for the man, saying that he "ought to have been a figure of safety and protection", but he sexually violated his daughter in the sanctity of her home.
She added that the child was a vulnerable victim, who was half-asleep and would not have been able to protect herself. The man had abused his position as a parent, and his daughter trusted him so much that she slept in the same bed as him every night.
MAN WAS ADDICTED TO PORN: DEFENCE
The man's defence lawyer, Ashwin Ganapathy, told the court that the case was a "heinous" one, with the offence committed against the man's daughter.
He said the prosecution's submission for 14 months' jail was appropriate and fair, but he argued that there was no evidence of severe psychological harm on the part of the victim.
He added that the man has been addicted to pornography for the past 20 to 30 years and has been diagnosed with habit and impulse control disorder, with "excessive sex drive".
The man is "remorseful" and has admitted himself to the National Addiction Management Service for help to treat his disorder, Mr Ganapathy said, adding that the man attended the appointments regularly.
He produced a report showing that the man has cut down his habit of viewing porn daily to once every two or three days.
In response, the prosecution said that if the man had known about his porn addiction, he should have taken steps to distance himself from his daughter.
District Judge Ng Cheng Thiam told the man: "Even your counsel has stated that you have committed a very heinous offence. The court has to impose a sentence that will send a message to others and to yourself."
He gave the man a jail sentence that was two months longer than both the prosecution and defence had asked for, and allowed the man five minutes to speak to his wife after the hearing.
For outraging his daughter's modesty, the man could have been jailed for up to two years, fined, caned, or a combination of these punishments.