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Singapore

Man on trial for sexually assaulting underage daughter

Man on trial for sexually assaulting underage daughter

A young child in distress. (File photo: iStock)

SINGAPORE: A man allegedly sexually assaulted his own daughter at home when she was seven to eight years old, instructing her to follow a pornographic video.

The alleged offences only came to light seven years later, when the girl told her school counsellor what had happened.

On Wednesday (Mar 2), the 48-year-old man went on trial in the High Court. The accused and victim cannot be identified as there is a gag order on their identities.

The man is contesting three charges of aggravated sexual assault. He also faces another charge of possession of obscene films.

The court heard that the victim lived in a flat with the accused, her mother, her younger sister and a domestic helper at the time of the offences.

The accused married the victim’s mother in 2004. Their divorce was finalised in October 2014.

THE ASSAULTS

According to the prosecution, the first assault took place in 2012, when the victim was seven years old.

At the time, the victim and the accused were in the master bedroom in the flat. The victim's sister was also sleeping in the room.

The accused allegedly showed the victim a pornographic video and then asked her to perform a sex act on him.

A few weeks later, he allegedly repeated this, showing her the same pornographic video and asking her to follow the video.

In the last assault in August 2014, when the victim was eight years old, the accused allegedly asked her to perform a sex act on him again.

On each of these occasions, the accused told the victim not to tell anyone about what had happened.

The alleged assaults came to light on Jan 18, 2019 when the victim spoke to her school counsellor.

She felt stressed when her mother's boyfriend threatened to make her stay with her father, who was then no longer living with the family.

She told the counsellor that her father showed her pornography and asked her to follow what she saw in the video, and that the sexual abuse happened from when she was seven years old to Primary 3.

The victim lodged a report a few days later on Jan 22, 2019, and the accused was arrested in his home that night. His mobile phone was also seized.

A psychiatrist at the Institute of Mental Health found that the accused has no mental illness and was not of unsound mind around the time of the offences.

Deputy Public Prosecutors Selene Yap and Tan Yen Seow will lead evidence from 18 witnesses for their case. They will also give evidence from two written statements made by the accused.

The trial opened on Wednesday with the prosecution leading evidence from the investigating officer in charge of the accused's case at the time of his arrest.

The accused is represented by Mr Vinit Chhabra. The lawyer indicated that his client will be challenging the voluntariness of the statement taken by the police a day after his arrest.

"He was made to go along with what the officer wanted him to say," said Mr Chhabra.

The trial continues.

Source: CNA/dv(ta)

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