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Man jailed for sexually abusing stepdaughter, 12

He performed sex acts on his stepdaughter, telling her it was his way of showing love to her.

And if the young girl agreed to give him oral sex, he would buy her presents and give her extra pocket money.

If she refused, the man, who was working as an after-sales manager, would punish her by withholding her pocket money.

This went on for about a year before the girl told a classmate about her stepfather's sick acts and subsequently made a police report on Oct 3, 2013. He was arrested four hours later.

Yesterday, the man, 43, was sentenced to 17 years' jail and the maximum 24 strokes of the cane after pleading guilty to two counts of sexually penetrating a minor without her consent, two counts of attempted rape and one count of outrage of modesty.

Ten other charges for similar offences involving the girl were taken into consideration.

The man, who was not represented by a lawyer, cannot be named to protect the victim's identity.

The court heard that the accused had sexually assaulted his stepdaughter 15 times from late 2012, when she was just 12 years old, until his arrest.

He had become the stepfather of the girl and her younger brother after he married their mother in 2007.

The family lived in a flat in central Singapore and she called him Dad or Daddy.

Deputy Public Prosecutor (DPP) John Lu said that in the beginning, the girl did not take to her stepfather. But their relationship started to improve a few years later.

This was around the time of the offences as he started buying presents to reward the victim for participating in the lewd acts.

Said DPP Lu: "Every time the accused performed a sexual act on the victim, he would tell the victim that he was doing so to make her feel high and warm and also to show his love for her.

"He also told the victim to keep these sexual acts a secret and that she would get into trouble if she told anyone."

He started performing indecent acts on the girl before the release of her PSLE results in 2012, the court heard.

SEXUAL ASSAULTS

Later that year, she was in his working room in their flat at around 9pm when he slipped a hand into her shorts and sexually assaulted her.

On another occasion in the same room, he engaged in sexual acts with the girl.

He then put on a condom and tried to rape her but failed because he was unable to sustain an erection.

In August or September 2013, he was alone with his stepdaughter in the flat. He called her into the master bedroom, asked her to strip naked and made her watch pornography on his laptop.

He then put on a condom and tried to rape her again. She tried to pushed him away in vain. But he again failed to sustain an erection and abandoned the attempt.

Sometime that year, he took her to his office in Bukit Batok and forced her to perform oral sex on him.

On another occasion, he took the girl to another office near Jurong and molested her.

The offences came to light after the girl stole her classmate's wallet on Oct 2, 2013 and was caught. She later apologised to her classmate, who asked her why she had committed the theft.

The girl then revealed that her stepfather would ask her to do "dirty things" and if she did not finish doing them, he would not give her pocket money.

The classmate advised her to tell her mother which she did that night. As it was late, the mother said they would talk more the next day.

The following day, the classmate informed their form teacher. The school then contacted the victim's mother and Child Protection Services (CPS).

After she was referred to a CPS officer for a check-up, the girl made a police report at around 5.30pm that day.

Quoting a report by CPS senior consultant Parvathy Pathy, DPP Lu said the girl would sometimes feel angry about what had happened.

He added: "The victim felt guilty about disclosing the acts and felt bad that she had 'betrayed' her stepfather who had asked her to keep the acts a secret."

For each count of attempted rape, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned.

"The victim felt guilty about disclosing the acts and felt bad that she had 'betrayed' her stepfather who had asked her to keep the acts a secret."

- Deputy Public Prosecutor John Lu, quoting a report by CPS senior consultant Parvathy Pathy

Primary school kids taught to seek help

Children in lower primary in schools here are taught how to protect themselves from sexual abuse.

According to the Ministry of Education website, they are also taught to seek help when they are sexually threatened or abused.

The MOE said: "The form teacher guidance period was introduced in all primary schools in 2011.

"The allocated one period per week is for form teachers to conduct interactive activities and social and emotional learning lessons."

A primary school teacher, who wanted to be known only as Madam Siti, said her principal also advises all employees to take allegations of sexual abuse very seriously.

The mother of two teenage boys added: "It is important that we inform the children that they can always approach us teachers for help whenever they encounter problems, not just academic ones.

"I'm glad that even after teaching for more than 10 years, I have not personally encountered cases of sexual abuse."

STEPDADS FROM HELL

CASE 1

A real estate agent, who began sexually exploiting his stepdaughter when she was 11, was jailed for 32 years on Jan 2 last year - one of the longest terms for a sex offender here.

The 37-year-old, who also raped the victim when she was 14, was ordered to be caned the maximum 24 strokes.

In 2011, he barged into the toilet while she was bathing, pulled her out and raped her.

The man also physically assaulted the girl and her younger sister. On one occasion, he punched and kicked the girls for simply not opening the door of their flat because they were asleep.

He did not sexually abuse the younger girl.

CASE 2

He moved into their flat in 2006 and married the girl's mother in 2007.

But even before they tied the knot, the man raped the then-10-year-old girl in 2006 when she was alone in the flat with him.

Two years later, he picked her up in his van from her religious class and told her to sit in the back. He then drove to a multi-storey carpark and raped her again.

On Sept 11, 2012, the 40-year-old stepfather was sentenced to 26 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to two counts of rape.

CASE 3

The girl was only about seven years old when the stepfather made her perform oral sex on him on two occasions.

The 30-year-old salesman was sentenced to 10 years' jail on April 29, 2011.

Despite being the innocent party, the victim was ridden with guilt for reporting the sexual abuse to a school counsellor. She repeatedly apologised to her mother, grandmother and even the stepfather for breaking up the family, the court heard.

JUDGE: YOU PREYED ON HER NAIVETY

As a stepfather, the man should have nurtured, guided and protected the girl, said District Judge Shaifuddin Saruwan.

Instead, he had "systematically exploited her sexually in a degrading and depraved fashion".

Addressing the man before handing out the sentence yesterday, the judge added: "You preyed on her naivety and impressionable mind with the lure of gifts.

"You corrupted her mind, not just by your perverted actions on her, but by inducing her into watching pornography."

Judge Shaifuddin said the actual and possible long-term emotional and psychological harm inflicted on the girl must also be taken into account.

"The overall objective in the sentence is to signal out strong disapprobation towards your actions, and to protect our young and vulnerable from sexual predation," he said.

SingaporeabuseSexUncategorisedjailCane