Singapore

Man jailed for sexually abusing stepdaughter

A man first sexually abused his stepdaughter when she was 12, telling her not to reveal it to anyone.

The abuse escalated over the next seven years, and included him forcing her to give him oral sex.

The incidents happened when he was alone with her at home, and other family members were either asleep or not in.

In 2014, she told her family members of the abuse, after he hit her when she refused to do as he wanted.

For his actions, the man, now 45, was yesterday jailed for 71/2 years, on one charge of sexually exploiting a child, one charge of sexually penetrating a minor and one charge of voluntarily causing hurt.

The man cannot be named under a gag order to protect the victim's identity.

Deputy Public Prosecutor Sruthi Boppana told the court that the man married into the family when the girl was about three years old, and was the only father figure in her life.

The abuse started when she reached puberty in her upper primary years, and continued through her secondary school and polytechnic years.

During sentencing, District Judge Marvin Bay said that while the man cited stress as one reason for his actions, it was no excuse as there are many fathers under similar pressures who do not take it out on their family members like that.

EXPLOITATION

He said the man had exploited family trust of the highest order.

In subjecting his stepdaughter from a young age to his "perverse whims and desires", he robbed her of her innocence and left emotional scars, said the judge.

Court documents showed that during counselling sessions, the victim exhibited symptoms of emotional trauma such as disassociation, lack of sleep, recurring memories and fear of meeting her abuser. - FABIAN KOH

COURT & CRIME