Singapore

Man gets 26 years' jail for rape of stepdaughter

He groomed 13-year-old for sex and she had his child at 14

A 53-year-old man, who groomed his stepdaughter into repeatedly having sex with him when she was 13, was sentenced to 26 years' jail for rape yesterday.

The girl gave birth to a son when she was 14.

The police investigated the matter then because she was a minor, but she told them that she had sex with her boyfriend to protect her stepfather.

She had two other children, fathered by different men, by the time she was 18.

During a quarrel with her mother over her sexual activity, the girl revealed that it was her stepfather who "made her like this".

Stunned, the woman made her husband and daughter promise not to have sex any more and not to reveal this to others.

The girl eventually made a police report after being urged to do so by a child protection officer, but even then indicated her intention to protect her stepfather, the High Court heard.

The man, who cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the identity of the victim, pleaded guilty to three counts of rape.

Another count of rape and five of sexual penetration of a minor were taken into consideration.

The court heard that in 2013, when the girl was in Secondary 1, she became curious about sex.

She shared her curiosity with her stepfather, who replied that she would have to experience it for herself to know more about it.

He then asked if she wanted to have sex with him. She initially rejected him, saying that she was still a child and that she was concerned about getting pregnant.

However, he assured her that he would use a condom.

He then took her to a block that was going to be demolished and had sex with her in an empty flat.

After the rape, he told her to look for pornographic videos online to learn how to perform oral sex.

Between January and August 2013, he took her to different isolated locations to rape her.

He also used his mobile phone to take photographs and videos of the sex acts.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Joshua Lim told the court: "It became the norm for the victim to engage in sexual intercourse with the accused. He would always initiate intercourse and she would not turn him down."

In August 2013, after he found out she had sex with her boyfriend, the stepfather told her he was no longer interested in sex with her.

About a month later, when she found out she was pregnant, he made her take pineapple juice and tapai, or fermented rice, hoping to induce a miscarriage.

The girl gave birth in 2014. Two years later, she had a second child with another boyfriend. She gave birth to a third child in February 2018.

In May 2018, when she took the baby to the hospital for a check-up, a child protection officer asked about the paternity of her first child. She replied that she had sex with her stepfather in 2013.

The officer told the girl, who was with her mother, to make a police report but they were reluctant to do so. Later that month, the officer persuaded her to report the matter.

A DNA test confirmed that the stepfather was the father of the girl's first child.

Yesterday, the DPP sought at least 26 years' jail for the man, given the premeditation involved in the rapes against a vulnerable victim who trusted him and whom he impregnated.

"Her childhood was completely robbed," he said.

Defence counsel Ashwin Ganapathy conceded that the case was egregious but argued for a 22-year jail term, saying that his client confessed even before paternity was confirmed.

COURT & CRIME