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Singapore

Man on trial for sexual offences against girlfriend's underage daughter and son over multiple years

SINGAPORE: A man is accused of preying sexually on his girlfriend's underage daughter and son, with the children keeping the truth from their mother until 10 years passed and she was vexed over her daughter's seeming rebelliousness.

Her son then told her in text messages: "Mama ... (the accused) used to rape us ... We keep it from you for 10 years ... Because we know you work very hard."

The accused, now 48, went to trial on Thursday (Jan 13) for eight charges. They are: One count of attempted rape and four counts of molestation against his girlfriend's daughter when she was between seven and 13; and one count each of outrage of modesty, carnal intercourse against the order of nature, and attempted carnal intercourse against her older brother when he was between 11 and 13.

The offence of carnal intercourse against the order of nature has since been repealed. All parties in the case cannot be named to protect the identities of the victims, who are now 29 and 31.

The court heard that the accused met the children's mother, who is now 47, at a pub where she worked in 1998. She began dating him and introduced him to her children shortly after. 

The accused, who had no permanent job at the time, was called "Papa" by the children. Their biological father had died.

The accused admits viewing pornographic images of naked women with his girlfriend's daughter and asking her to reenact the portrayed acts when she was at least seven.

He also admits to performing sex acts on his girlfriend's son when he was between 11 and 13 years old.

According to the prosecution's case, one of the earlier incidents, when the accused preyed on his girlfriend's daughter, was between February 2000 and October 2001.

The girl was asleep when the accused molested her. Sometime after this, she fell asleep after drinking a beverage the accused had given her after school.

She woke up naked and lying face down, and pretended to be asleep while the accused attempted to rape her.

Her older brother will testify that the accused began physically and sexually abusing him in 2000 when he was in Primary 4. During this period, the boy suffered from fainting spells.

The most vivid incident in the son's mind occurred when he was 11, sometime between 2001 and 2002.

He was sleeping in his bedroom when he was allegedly awoken by the accused who performed sex acts on him and sexually assaulted him. The boy did not tell anyone about it at the time.

The siblings' mother will also testify about how she was often at work while the accused was at home and helped care for her children. She did not know about the sexual abuse. In 2006, the siblings' mother chased the accused out of the house over unrelated matters. That same year, they broke up.

On Dec 12, 2016, the siblings' mother had a dispute with the daughter. The mother complained to her son about her daughter's seemingly rebellious behaviour.

Her son then sent her the following messages: "Mama ... (the accused) used to rape us ... All she wanted was your love ... We keep it from you for 10 years ... Because we know you work very hard."

He also wrote: "Mama every time you were not around he'll beat us till we faint. Even randomly while in our sleep, even if late at night. He touched us and made us do weird things. Then whenever you're around he pretends (it's) nothing."

He added that he and his sister did not tell their mother about the incidents because they knew how hard she worked.

"But sometimes I think my sister goes (through) depression because of this and I know we are all used to be independent. Yet, she's a girl after all and she always want to feel love but sometimes you were too busy," he continued.

After this, the siblings' mother told her children to lodge a police report and they did so on Dec 13, 2016.

The accused was arrested in May 2019. The police could not locate him initially as he was not living at his registered address.

He was examined and diagnosed with paedophilic disorder, but was found fit to plead in a court of law and not of unsound mind at the time of the offences.

The rest of the trial on Thursday was held in camera, with the siblings' mother taking the stand.

The prosecution will lead evidence from 23 witnesses to prove its case. The accused is represented by lawyers Wong Siew Hong and Josephine Iezu Costan.

Source: CNA/ll(ac)

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