28 years' jail, maximum caning for man who raped daughter for 7.5 years

Wan Ting Koh
·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
A little girl hugging her teddy bear while a man holds her shoulders.
A little girl hugging her teddy bear while a man holds her shoulders. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man who raped his daughter for about seven-and-a-half years was jailed for 28 years and sentenced to 24 strokes of the cane on Monday (26 April). 

The 44-year-old Singapore permanent resident had also molested his daughter's best friend when he came by to hang out with her. 

By his own count, the man had raped his daughter, now 13, between 10 and 20 times, and forced her to perform oral sex on him even more times. Both man and daughter cannot be named to protect the victim's identity. 

Sentencing the man from the European Union, Justice Mavis Chionh noted four aggravating factors to his offence: the vulnerability of the young victim, the man's abuse of his position of authority and trust, the premeditation and grooming of the victim, and that the sex acts were unprotected. 

"I should add that the tenderness of the victim’s years and the pathos of her vulnerability are obvious from the (statement of facts). At the start ...she was a young girl afraid of showering alone. At the tail end, she was by all accounts still a young girl afraid to return to her room to sleep because she found the sounds of her room fan weird.

"The greatest tragedy in this case is that she (was) robbed of her childhood innocence by her own father."

She noted that the prosecution told the court that even today, the daughter continues to write letters to her father to tell him that she loves him. 

"This is the other great tragedy in this case that the victim (was) preyed upon by the person meant to protect her," she added . 

As for the mitigation, Justice Chionh took into account the man's plea of guilt, which spared the victim the trauma of having to testify in court. She did not assign mitigating weight to the man being diagnosed with pedophilic disorder or that he had no criminal history, given the lengthy period he had been abusing his daughter. His offences were committed from 2011 to 2019.

The man earlier pleaded guilty to three charges of statutory rape of his daughter when she was between nine and 11 years old. Another 19 charges of a similar nature, such as sexually assaulting his daughter, showing her pornography and molesting her friend, were taken into consideration for sentencing. His wife has since divorced him. 

The man worked as a product manager in Singapore and stayed in a condominium with his wife, their daughter and her baby brother. The couple, who were married overseas, moved to Singapore in 2008.

The man first sexually assaulted his daughter when she was between three and seven years old. After watching a television programme about people drowning while swimming, the girl became afraid of showering alone and took a shower with her father. At that point, the man developed a “sexual desire” to touch the girl.

He realised then that he was a pedophile and there was “no turning back”. He continued abusing her for the next seven-and-a-half years, with the sexual assaults increasing in frequency after the family moved houses. He knew that the girl did not like the incidents as she would keep her face turned to the side when they happened, to avoid looking at him.

He would go into the girl’s bedroom or ask her to enter his bedroom, before locking the door and raping or sexually assaulting her. When the girl expressed reluctance, he would say it would only take a few minutes. The girl often felt she could not protest further as the man was her father, whom she should listen to.

At times, the man would show her pornographic material from his phone or laptop. One of these was a child having sex with her father.

He also molested his daughter’s best friend when the girl went over to play and watch movies. This girl stayed in the same condominium, and her parents regarded the man and his wife as “close friends”.

He kissed this girl on the lips and told her to keep it a secret. Once, as the man, his daughter and her best friend watched a movie in the master bedroom, the man molested both girls at the same time while lying between them. Eventually, this girl stopped going to the daughter’s house.

The police eventually learned of the sexual assault after the second victim made a police report about the man’s inappropriate behaviour.

In June 2019, as the girl's best friend was preparing to undergo her first communion in her home country, she was asked to confess her sins and revealed the man's offences. She made a police report upon returning to Singapore. The man was then arrested. 

When settling the man's affairs, his wife came across child erotica stories in his email inbox. The man had downloaded and sent these to himself.

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