Man gets jail, 24 strokes of the cane for sexually abusing godsons who sought shelter at his home
SINGAPORE: A man was jailed for 18 years and given the maximum 24 strokes of the cane on Tuesday (Apr 13) for sexually abusing two brothers who were aged between 10 and 12 after inviting them to seek shelter at his home.
The man, who was 31 at the time of the offences in 2019, cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the identities of his victims, who were his godsons.
He had pleaded guilty in March to two counts of sexual assault by penetration, with three other charges taken into consideration.
The man offered to let the boys and their mother stay with him and his wife after they were evicted from their home in August 2019 due to a family dispute.
The boys and their mother had been placed under a safety plan by a social service agency because of her lack of adequate parenting skills. Their father had abandoned the family and returned to his home country a decade before.
Soon after they moved, the accused assumed a father-figure role, said the judge, with the older boy calling him "papa".
"The fact that the accused had been allowed by the victim’s mother to assist to shower the victim after the latter underwent a circumcision demonstrates the high degree of responsibility that the accused was entrusted with vis-a-vis the victim," said Justice Mavis Chionh.
"Instead of providing the victim with a home in which he could find comfort and security, the accused cynically abused the relationship of responsibility and trust he had with the victim: He exploited his access to the victim for the reprehensible purpose of satisfying his own sexual urges."
The man first sexually assaulted the older brother, aged 12, in end-2019 while the rest of the household was asleep, causing him great pain.
He sexually assaulted the boy while showering with him, knowing the boy was quiet and reserved and unlikely to raise complaints.
It was only when the accused targeted the younger boy as well that the brothers told each other what happened. They eventually revealed the sexual abuse to their mother, and a social care worker reported the matter to the police.
The older boy displayed high levels of fear and anger towards the accused, triggered when he heard his name or the area of his flat.
He felt ashamed that the man had sexually assaulted him, coping by suppressing the thoughts and experiencing anxiety when made to recount what happened.
He also displayed "distorted trauma-related cognitions related to the sexual abuse", thinking that even though he tried to shout when the man covered his mouth, he should have somehow refused.
The boys are currently under the care of the Ministry of Social and Family Development, and the older brother has since undergone eight trauma-focused therapy sessions.