SINGAPORE: A man was found guilty on Wednesday (Jun 3) of raping his daughter twice in one night while threatening her with a penknife.
The man, 53, was convicted of nine charges, including two counts of aggravated rape, one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration as well as charges of outrage of modesty, criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.
Both parties cannot be named due to gag orders issued by the court to protect the identity of the victim.
The court heard that the man and his then 23-year-old daughter had drunk alcohol together in the early hours of Mar 27, 2016 and she fell asleep after.
She woke up when she felt someone molesting her over her shorts, and opened her eyes to see her father completely naked and touching her, the prosecution said.
He then placed a penknife on her neck and threatened to "slash her", before raping her twice and forcing her to perform a sex act on him.
She tried to take the penknife from him, but he punched her and strangled her.
The victim called for help later that morning after coaxing her father into returning her mobile phone and allowing her to leave the flat. She rang her boyfriend, who took her to make a police report.
She was diagnosed with post-traumatic stress disorder with co-morbid depressive symptoms at the Institute of Mental Health after the attacks. A laceration was also found on her neck.
As part of his defence, the man claimed that the victim had "seduced him", initiated the sexual encounter and consented to the acts – claims that were rejected by Justice Hoo Sheau Peng, who called the man a "completely untruthful witness".
VICTIM’S ACCOUNT CONSISTENT WITH EVIDENCE
The judge said he accepted the victim’s account of the events, calling it “cogent and coherent”.
“In the face of rigorous cross-examination, the complainant did not waver,” he said. “She remained firm about her version of the offences. Importantly, she did not embellish her evidence to strengthen her case.”
The victim’s account was also consistent with all the supporting evidence, facts and circumstances, he added.
"Upon an evaluation of the accused’s allegations of the complainant’s motives, I also conclude that she did not frame the accused. In light of my analysis of the evidence and my observation of the complainant in court, I am of the view that the complainant is a credible witness. I accept her account. It is not contrived. It rings of the truth," the judge said.
The actions of the accused, on the other hand, contradicted his claims that the encounter had been consensual, Justice Hoo said.
Deputy Public Prosecutors Ng Yiwen, Kavita Uthrapathy and Sarah Siaw said in their closing submissions that the man had spun an "outlandish tale" of how the victim had "seduced him" on two occasions.
"He levied a series of absurd accusations against the victim, ranging from a sinister plot to incarcerate him, to an attempt to avoid being prosecuted for incest," they said.
"The accused’s testimony was replete with inconsistencies and repeatedly contradicted the accounts he had given to the police in material respects. These contradictions revealed his testimony to be nothing more than lies concocted to mask his heinous acts."
Justice Hoo rejected the man's claims and said they were "inherently incredible".
There were many “unsatisfactory aspects” to the man's evidence and he had fabricated evidence to strengthen his case, Justice Hoo added.
“I find the accused to be a completely untruthful witness, who made more and more allegations against the complainant in the course of his evidence,” he said.
The man will be sentenced at a later date.