SINGAPORE: After his daughter returned to the family home following years of living with her aunt, a man began molesting her weekly, punishing her by making her stand outside the house if she did not comply.
When she was 15, he raped her and subjected her to weekly sexual abuse, even when she had her period.
The girl was afraid of being locked out of the house and gave in to her father's sexual assault. Eventually, she told her friends what had happened when they noticed that she was moody, bursting into tears as she spoke of her father's "harassment".
The 44-year-old man was sentenced on Monday (Feb 22) to 25 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane. He pleaded guilty to three charges of rape, with another 24 charges taken into consideration.
The court heard that the man, a food delivery rider, had four children with his wife. The couple lived in a four-room flat with their three sons at first, while the victim lived with her aunt until she was nine.
She moved back in with her family in June 2013 when she was in Primary 4 and shared a room with one of her brothers.
A few months after this, her father began molesting her. He did so at least once a week for five years until she was 14. The girl felt scared and uncomfortable but did not react as she did not know what to do.
She ran away from home in May 2018 as she felt stressed and affected by her father's sexual assault and had quarrelled with her mother. She returned home the next day after a missing-persons report was lodged.
Her father stopped molesting her for several months after this but continued in December 2018. When the victim told him that she was not comfortable with his actions, he punished her by making her stand facing the wall for an hour.
He told her that he was "not comfortable being in the flat alone with her" and began locking her out of the flat every day that month. He allowed her back in only when her mother returned home from work at 7pm.
Whenever her mother asked why the victim was outside, the accused would say he was punishing her for not doing housework.
From January 2019, when the victim was 15, the man began raping her. The victim felt pain and was scared, but did not tell anyone as she was afraid that she would be punished and locked out of the house.
Between March 2019 and June 2019, the man raped and sexually assaulted his daughter at least once a month.
The victim did not dare to tell anyone about the sexual abuse she suffered and feared that her family would be broken up if she did so. On Jul 31, 2019, the victim deliberately stayed out after school to avoid being home alone with her father. However, her mother scolded her for coming home late.
VICTIM'S SCHOOLMATES FIND OUT
On Aug 1, 2019, three of the girl's secondary schoolmates noticed that she was moody. They kept asking her to tell them what was wrong. Initially reluctant, the victim began tearing and said her mother had scolded her for coming home late, but said she did not want to go home on time because her father "always harassed her".
The next day, her friends asked her if she meant that she had lost her virginity when she said her father "harassed" her. Replying "ya", the victim began to cry. The girl's friends reported the matter to their form teacher and the police were alerted to the case.
A psychiatric report stated that the victim had flashbacks and repetitive memories of what her father did to her, but that she now thinks less frequently of the matter.
Her father was assessed to be fit to plead and no strong evidence was found to suggest a diagnosis of erectile dysfunction.
The prosecution asked for at least 26 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane, saying that the victim had "suffered in silence for years".
"When the victim moved in with her biological family at the age of nine, the accused ought to have provided her with a loving and safe family environment," said Deputy Public Prosecutors Stephanie Koh and Lim Yu Hui.
"Instead, the victim unknowingly entered the lion’s den, with the sexual torment of the victim commencing a mere two months after she moved in."
They added that the accused exploited his access to the victim, "creeping into her bedroom at night to molest her while she was asleep, which progressed into taking advantage of their afternoons alone in the house to rape her".
For each charge of rape, he could have been jailed for up to 20 years and fined or caned.