Man on trial for sexually abusing daughter for five years
Family of five sleeping together in a room did not deter him from violating her when she was 10: Prosecution
For nearly five years, a young girl suffered in silence at the hands of her biological father as he allegedly sexually abused her relentlessly.
As the trial of the 45-year-old man began yesterday, the prosecution said the victim was only 10 years old when the abuse started in 2010.
The father, who cannot be named to protect the victim's identity, faces one charge of molest and 14 charges of sexual assault by penetration.
He has denied committing the offences and is challenging the validity of four statements he gave to the police.
In its opening statement, the prosecution said the abuse began with physical fondling and escalated to digital penetration, fellatio and sodomy.
"Instead of protecting and caring for her, the accused thoroughly abused the victim's trust and violated her repeatedly with impunity," the prosecution added.
When he first fondled his daughter in 2010, he told her not to tell anyone and said he would teach her more about "sex". She trusted her father and allowed him to continue violating her.
But as she grew older she realised his actions were wrong and ran away twice to escape his clutches.
Though the family of five - comprising the parents, the victim, her elder brother and younger sister - and their domestic helper slept together in one room at a Yishun flat, the man was undeterred and abused the victim when everyone was asleep, the prosecution said.
His violations persisted even after the family moved to a four-room flat in Woodlands in 2011.
Soon after the move, the girl's parents' relationship soured. When her mother moved to another room, the girl found herself sharing a bed with her father, who began sodomising her.
After she found out it was not normal for fathers and daughters to be physically intimate, she told him to stop. But he assured her it was okay for them to engage in sexual activities as long as no one knew.
The prosecution said: "Leveraging on their close relationship, the accused impressed upon the victim that she would lose a father if anyone learnt about their sexual activities."
After her parents were divorced some time between 2012 and 2013, the victim returned to the Yishun flat with her father and elder brother.
When he continued exploiting her for his sexual gratification, she ran away to her mother in December 2013. She returned home after he begged for a second chance and vowed to stop the abuse.
But he soon went back to his old ways, and after several months of abuse, she sought refuge with her mother in end-2014.
The father agreed to let her remain with her mother on condition that she not tell anyone about the abuse.
She agreed and kept her word until 2016, when she confided in her close friend.
The following year, she told her stepfather about the abuse, and he got her mother to speak to her. A police report was made in November 2017.
The prosecution said yesterday it intends to call 22 witnesses, including the victim, her close friend, her stepfather, her mother and her brother.
Her brother will testify that before the man's arrest, he had confessed to performing a sexual act on the victim, the prosecution added.
He will also tell the court how he was awoken from sleep in 2013 after hearing the victim telling the father to "stop" because she was in pain, but he went back to sleep as he did not suspect anything was wrong.
Yesterday, investigating officer Jereld Xu testified how the man had broke down in tears while giving his statement.
He said it was "painful" for him to talk about the incident and that he had wronged his family, Deputy Superintendent Xu added.