Man gets jail and caning for repeatedly raping 11-year-old daughter, wife caught him with contraceptive pills
SINGAPORE: A man began sexually assaulting his daughter from when she was nine, even when his wife was asleep in the same room, and escalated to raping her when she was 11.
His acts, dubbed "heinous" by the judge, were uncovered when he bought contraceptive pills for his daughter as he feared she could get pregnant.
The 45-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, was sentenced to 21 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane on Thursday (Oct 14).
He pleaded guilty to two counts of rape and one count of sexual assault by penetration, with eight other similar charges taken into consideration for sentencing.
The court heard that the man married his wife in China in 2007. Later that same year, his wife gave birth to the victim, who is now 14.
The family moved to Singapore in subsequent years and obtained either permanent residency or citizenship. The couple had a son in 2015, and the family of four lived in a four-room flat in Tampines.
They did not have a fixed sleeping arrangement but generally slept together in the same room where there was a bunk bed and a double bed. The victim slept on the lower deck of the bunk bed, while her parents and brother slept on the double bed.
The offender began sexually assaulting his daughter in 2017 when she was nine and in Primary 4. He began waking her up by molesting her over her clothes, before progressing to sexual assault by the end of 2017.
He would prey on her at least once a month - either at night when his wife and son were sleeping, or on Saturday mornings when his wife was at work.
GIRL DID NOT KNOW IT WAS WRONG AT FIRST
The girl felt uncomfortable but did not know that what her father did was wrong at first. It was only when she attended sexuality education classes in school a year later that she realised it was wrong.
She began telling her father "don't want", and would ask him to leave, or turn away from him or push him away. Despite this, her attempts to stop her father from assaulting her were futile, the prosecutors said.
Shortly after the girl turned 11 in October 2018, her father began trying to rape her. He did not succeed on the first occasion as his daughter kept moving around, but he raped her the second time.
After this, he began raping her regularly, telling his daughter not to tell anyone. The girl complied with his requests, and felt it was "too late" to tell anyone as the assault had already occurred.
On Mar 12, 2019, the man raped his daughter after she fell asleep while using her phone. He did not wear a condom during this occasion and later feared that he could get her pregnant.
He ordered a box of contraceptive pills online and collected it from the seller at a train station the next day. He threw the box away and placed the pills in a small ziplock bag from a family clinic, labelled "for cough".
He waited for a chance to feed his daughter the pills and passed them to her after dinner on Mar 14, 2019 when his wife was in the kitchen.
The girl asked her father what the pills were for, but he did not tell her. While her father was in the toilet, the girl went to the kitchen and whispered to her mother that her father wanted her to eat some pills.
The victim retrieved the pills, in the bag labelled "for cough", and knew they were not meant for cough as she did not suffer from such symptoms.
Her mother took the pills and confronted her husband. He told her that he was worried that he had ejaculated into his daughter.
The next day, the victim's mother lodged a police report. When the victim was examined and an old tear was found on her hymen, the accused claimed that she sustained it during a ballet class.
A psychiatric report by the Child Guidance Clinic found that the victim had been feeling "sad, annoyed and angry" since the abuse.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Eugene Lee asked for 21 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the man, citing the significant abuse of trust, the age of the victim and the one occasion where the accused failed to wear a condom, exposing her to disease.
Defence lawyer Jonathan Wong asked for the same sentence, saying that he sought not to provide any excuses for what his client did.
He said his client is "consumed by his regret" and immediately confessed to his crimes when his wife confronted him. He has "no propensity to reoffend in the form of a diagnosed condition", and was himself also "violated" in his childhood, said the lawyer.
Mr Wong said this was "compounded by the issues he encountered within his marriage - issues relating to intimacy", but declined to go into detail on them.
"Suffice to say that all that in total - the weight of all these past issues and stressors, ultimately culminated sadly in him losing his hitherto good self-control," said Mr Wong.
He added that the offender's wife and daughter have "found it within their hearts to not only forgive (him) but also to take active steps to reconcile".
YOU BETRAYED HER TRUST: JUDGE
Judicial Commissioner Philip Jeyaretnam told the accused that he committed these offences against his biological daughter, who should have been the object of parental care and not abuse.
"You abused your position of parental authority and betrayed her trust in you as her father," he said.
He added that the man placed his daughter at risk of unwanted pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases, and even tried to deceive her into taking contraceptive pills.
The judge said the man had "fractured" his family, but noted that he had "worked hard over the years to better your life and that of your family".
"That quality is what you must build upon as you seek to make amends for your heinous wrongdoing," said the judge.
He allowed the man to have a few moments with his wife, who attended the court hearing, before he was taken away.