Singapore

Jail for man who molested stepdaughter for over 20 years

In what prosecutors called "the worst case of sexual abuse involving acts of outrage of modesty to appear before the courts to date", a man, 67, was jailed for eight years, nine months and eight weeks on Monday.

The Singaporean bus driver, who molested his stepdaughter over more than 20 years, pleaded guilty to five counts of molestation last October.

Nine other charges, mainly for similar offences, were considered during sentencing. He cannot be named to protect his stepdaughter's identity.

The victim, now 33, had suffered in silence and was aware her family was financially dependent on the man she called "papa". She did not tell her mother out of fear she would not be believed.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana had earlier said: "Over the years, the victim grew accustomed to the acts of sexual abuse as these had become the norm.

"She had resigned herself to her predicament and believed her only way out was to either end her life or wait until she turned 35 years old to move out into her own flat."

Unmarried Singaporeans can buy Housing Board flats only when they reach 35.

The man began living with the victim's family in 1990 after her father's death. He targeted the girl before marrying her mother in 1999.

DPP Sruthi said: "The bulk of the incidents occurred in the victim's bedroom, where the accused would be alone with her after the rest of the family members were either asleep or were out of the flat."

In one incident in 1999, when the victim was about 12 years old, she asked her stepfather to apply medication on her.

He did so and then molested the child, leaving her feeling disgusted and embarrassed. When she later locked her bedroom door, he could still enter the room as the lock was faulty.

The lock was replaced in late 2016 but on Feb 21, 2017, the stepfather used a spare key to unlock the door and molest her. The victim finally made a police report two days later.- THE STRAITS TIMES

COURT & CRIME