SINGAPORE: A man who molested his girlfriend’s young daughters while they were sleeping was sentenced on Monday (May 14) to six years’ imprisonment and 12 strokes of the cane.
The 29-year-old Malaysian man, who cannot be named due to a gag order, had earlier pleaded guilty to three counts of outraging the modesty of a person under the age of 14. Four other similar charges were also taken into consideration during his sentencing.
According to court documents, the man got to know the victims, now aged eight and 13, in 2014, when he got into a relationship with their mother. While the two victims share the same mother, they have different biological fathers.
Shortly after, their mother conceived and gave birth to the man’s daughter some time in 2015.
He moved in with the family last year. The entire family, except for the victims’ grandfather, would sleep on mattresses in the flat’s living room.
The victims treated the man as a step-father even though he was not married to their mother, added Deputy Public Prosecutor Michael Quilindo.
Documents showed that on one occasion, the man had touched and rubbed the eight-year-old girl’s private parts while she was sleeping, only stopping when the girl began to stir in her sleep. He was found out when the victim’s child protection officer made a police report on 19 May, 2017.
In the course of investigations, it was revealed that the man had also touched the girl’s half-sister in a similar fashion on at least six occasions. These instances occurred on different nights.
DPP Quilindo said that during investigations, the man had admitted that he would only touch the victims sexually when it was dark at night and everyone was sleeping. When asked why he had done so, he said: “It was an urge ... I can’t control my sexual urge”.
Citing an Institute of Mental Health report, DPP Quilindo also pointed out that the accused had paedophilic tendencies which appear to have remained dormant until the offences occurred. These tendencies, however, “seem to have been unmasked in the presence of close physical proximity with pre-pubertal girls”.
Although the man claimed that the offending behaviour was opportunistic in nature, and blamed the victims’ mother for forcing him to sleep next to the victims, it would appear that he made “no attempt to remove himself from the situation, nor insist that the girls do not sleep next to him”, he added.
For each count of outraging the modesty of a victim below the age of 14, the man could have been jailed for up to five years, with a fine or caning.