Man gets jail and caning for sexually assaulting 13-year-old daughter, who later ran away from home
SINGAPORE: A 39-year-old man was sentenced to 11 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane on Thursday (Oct 21) for sexually assaulting his 13-year-old daughter, in the latest of court cases involving incestuous sexual abuse.
The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order protecting his daughter's identity, pleaded guilty to a charge each of sexual assault by penetration of a minor and molestation of a minor.
Another three charges were considered in sentencing.
The court heard that the accused, a part-time food deliveryman, lived in a flat with his wife, the victim, and the victim's older brother and younger sister.
The victim also has two other sisters who do not live in the flat with the family.
In December 2019, the victim's mother took up a new job that required her to leave the house for work and return only at night.
The offender stayed at home to look after the children. That same month, he began preying sexually on his daughter, who was 13 and in Secondary 2.
He asked his daughter sexual questions before molesting her and sexually assaulting her. He asked her for her consent both times, but did not obtain it.
The victim did not consent to the acts, but did not stop her father as she was afraid of him, the prosecutor said.
THE VICTIM'S FEARS AND FEELINGS
She felt sad that her own father would commit such offences against her, and also felt fear and disappointment that someone entrusted to protect her would violate her.
She did not tell her mother about what happened as she was afraid the latter would not believe her, and that she would cause her family to fall apart.
She fretted about who would take care of the family if her father was imprisoned, and about the impact on her younger siblings if her parents got a divorce. At the same time, she feared that her father might prey on her sisters.
To avoid her father, she resorted to running away from home three times in December 2019.
When school resumed in January 2020, she stayed out late after school.
On Jan 29, 2020, the victim returned home from school. Her sister was asleep on a mattress in the living room, and the victim joined her while still fully dressed in her school uniform.
Minutes later, her father lay down between them and sexually assaulted the victim.
The matter came to light the next day, after the victim told her school friends about what happened, and they alerted the school counsellor.
The victim and her mother were interviewed at the Child Guidance Clinic in November 2020. According to the medical report, the victim was bullied at school after the disclosure of the offences and cut herself.
She expressed suicidal thoughts, had bad dreams of her father pushing her into the sea, and slashed her wrist after seeing her mother looking angry at the police station.
Prosecutors pushed for at least 11 years' jail and 15 strokes of the cane for the offender, saying that he sullied his relationship with the victim and "egregiously breached the familial trust placed in him by covertly abusing the victim".
This is the latest of a slew of cases to come to court that involve a father sexually abusing his daughter.
On Monday, a 50-year-old man was jailed for 23 years for raping his 11-year-old daughter after seeking advice from a "feng shui master".
Last week, a 45-year-old man received 21 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for raping and sexually assaulting his 11-year-old daughter. His crimes were uncovered when he bought contraceptive pills for her and tried to trick her into taking them.
Earlier this month, a 41-year-old man was given 29 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for raping his 13-year-old daughter and forcing his underage son to rape his wife.