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Singapore

Man pleads guilty to having sex with girlfriend's underage daughter, who later became pregnant

SINGAPORE: A 26-year-old man befriended his girlfriend's 14-year-old daughter and began having an illicit sexual relationship with her.

The teenager, who was previously sexually abused by a family member, viewed him as a father figure, calling him "daddy".

She later became pregnant, with the case coming to light after she was admitted to hospital for severe stomach pain and authorities were flagged to a case of teenage pregnancy.

The offender, now 29, pleaded guilty on Tuesday (Oct 5) to three charges of sexual penetration of a minor, with multiple other charges taken into consideration.

All parties in the case cannot be named due to gag orders protecting the identity of the victim.

The court heard that the accused was in a romantic relationship with the victim's mother from 2015 and later moved in to stay with her.

He was not close to the victim for about a year and a half during his relationship with her mother, the court heard. This was because the girl, who had been sexually abused by a family member when she was 10 to 12 years old, avoided the accused as she was still affected by the ordeal, the court heard.

Over time, the man earned the victim's trust by assuming the role of a father figure in her life, the court heard. He showered her with affection, splashing cash on her birthday and taking her out for her favourite activities such as ice skating.

He also cooked, cleaned and cared for the victim when she was ill, and guided her when she needed help with her homework.

The pair grew closer and the victim began calling the accused "daddy". Her own biological father was in jail at the time.

The relationship between the accused and the victim "developed into a sexual one" in October 2018, said the prosecutor, adding that they started "having consensual unprotected sexual intercourse regularly".

This usually took place when the victim's mother, the sole breadwinner, was out working.

They had unprotected sexual intercourse until December 2019, said the court, adding that they engaged in other sex acts between January and June 2020 when the victim's "pregnancy was causing too much discomfort".

VICTIM ADMITTED FOR SEVERE STOMACH PAINS

On May 14, 2020, the victim was admitted to the National University Hospital for severe stomach pains, which later turned out to be labour contractions.

The hospital alerted the police to the case of teenage pregnancy, and the victim gave birth to a baby girl the next day. She did not indicate any details of her child's father on the birth certificate.

A few weeks later, when the victim reported to the Immigration and Checkpoints Authority to register the birth of her child, ICA referred the matter to the police after ascertaining that she was under 16.

Blood specimens were taken from the victim and her child for DNA analysis and cross-checked with a specimen from the accused. He was found to be the baby's biological father, with a probability of 99.9999 per cent.

A Child Guidance Clinic report showed that the victim felt sad that she missed out on her dream of graduating with her friend in 2020 and has "passive suicidal wishes" because of the repeated sexual abuse she experienced.

She also worries that her child might hate her if she finds out about her illegitimate birth, and suffers moodiness, irritability and difficulty sleeping.

The accused will return to court for mitigation and sentencing in November.

Source: CNA/ll

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