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Man gets jail for molesting 12-year-old stepdaughter, told wife he was 'showing love' to victim

Man gets jail for molesting 12-year-old stepdaughter, told wife he was 'showing love' to victim

Photo illustration of a child in distress. (Photo: Jeremy Long)

SINGAPORE: A man who repeatedly molested his 12-year-old stepdaughter even when his wife was in the house was given three years and three months' jail on Thursday (Sep 23).

Three months of the jail term was in lieu of caning, as he is 59 and cannot be caned. The man's identity cannot be revealed due to gag orders protecting the victim.

He pleaded guilty to three counts of molesting a minor, with another two charges taken into consideration.

The court heard that he was a deliveryman and married the victim's mother in February 2019, years after the victim's father died.

The victim's mother was often out for work, and the man cared for the victim's daily needs, with the girl calling him "daddy".

At about 10am on May 19, 2019, the man was on the sofa in the living room with his 12-year-old stepdaughter while his wife cooked in the kitchen.

Suddenly, the man pulled the girl towards him and patted her head. He molested her over her shirt and asked if she wore a bra.

When she said no, he slid both hands under her shirt and molested her. The girl was shocked but did not dare to move or make any noise. She could not push her stepfather away as he was bigger than her.

When the girl's mother emerged from the kitchen, the man quickly retracted his hands and resumed patting her head.

His wife asked him what he was doing, and he replied that he was "showing (the victim) love". 

When his wife went to a cupboard behind the sofa to get some clothes, the man continued molesting her.

He later asked the girl to take a shower and sent his wife to work. When he returned home, he sat next to his stepdaughter again.

The girl was playing with a phone when her mother called and asked her to pass the phone to him.

As he spoke to his wife, he slid his hand under the victim's shirt and squeezed her chest, before placing his hands in her pants and molesting her.

After the phone call, the man asked the victim to join him on his bed and gave her the phone so she could resume playing with it.

He molested her and kissed her before removing her clothes and performing sex acts on her.

The victim did not dare to tell her mother what happened as she was afraid the couple would argue, and she did not want to jeopardise their relationship.

When she returned to school, the girl told her friends what happened and they encouraged her to tell a teacher. Eventually, she mustered the courage to confide in her school counsellor and the matter was escalated to the Ministry of Social and Family Development.

She was taken to lodge a police report. A psychiatric report by the Institute of Mental Health stated that the victim sometimes thinks about what happened and feels "grossed out". She also sometimes dreams of her stepfather.

The judge allowed the man to defer his jail term to November.

For each count of molesting a minor, he could have been jailed up to five years and fined. He cannot be caned as he is above 50.

Source: CNA/ll(gr)

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