Betrayal of trust: Man admits to molesting neighbours' 8-year-old daughter

·Senior Reporter
(PHOTO: Getty Creative)
At the High Court on Tuesday (10 September), the 47-year-old man pleaded guilty to two counts of molesting a girl under the age of 14. (PHOTO: Getty Creative)

SINGAPORE — Using the house keys entrusted to his wife’s parents, he entered his neighbours’ home twice and molested their young daughter.

On both occasions the Malaysian showed the victim, who was then aged eight, pornographic material before committing the offences.

At the High Court on Tuesday (10 September), the 47-year-old permanent resident pleaded guilty to two counts of molesting a girl under the age of 14. He was given a discharge amounting to an acquittal on eight other charges, including house trespass and molest.

Two other counts of exhibiting an obscene object to a person below the age of 21 will be taken into consideration for his sentencing, which is set to take place on Thursday. The accused cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, who is now aged 10.

Trusted by neighbours

The court heard that the man, who was working at Marina Bay Sands (MBS) at the time, and his wife shared a landed home with the wife’s parents, referred to as Mr and Mrs Sim in court documents.

The victim’s family lived in the house next to Mr and Mrs Sim, with both homes separated by a fence. The two families still reside in the same homes to this date.

As the victim’s family was regularly overseas, they entrusted the key to their home’s main gate to the man’s mother-in-law. At Mrs Sim’s invitation, the victim would sometimes visit the former’s home for snacks or to play with an iPad in the man’s room. At times, the man would be left alone with the victim in his bedroom.

The victim’s father would also get the man to help with repairs on his home.

One such occasion was on 4 September 2017 when the man went over to fix the water heater in a toilet at the request of the victim’s father. The girl and her aunt were both at home while the man and the girl’s father attempted to fix the water heater on the second floor.

After the heater was fixed, the man left the home but returned a few minutes later under the pretext of seeing to the heater again. By that time the girl’s father had left for work.

The man then entered the master bedroom of his neighbour’s home, which the victim was in at the time. He then showed the girl an obscene photograph and video on his mobile phone before molesting her.

The girl then pushed the man out of the door and tried to shut it, but stopped when the man said “please, please, please” in English. As the man reentered the room, he pulled down the girl’s underwear.

The girl later dressed herself and went to the first floor to tell her aunt that the man did not fix the water heater. The man then left the house.

Lied to wife about work

Sometime during the last week of November that year, the man spoke to the girl through the fence between their homes and told her that he wanted to come over. The girl replied that he could visit on 1 December.

Despite not having a shift scheduled for that day, the man lied and told his wife that he needed to go to work. On 1 December, his wife accompanied him to MBS to run some errands.

After reaching MBS, the man parted ways with his wife, ostensibly to go to work, but instead returned to the carpark where he had parked his motorcycle. While his wife went shopping, the man rode to the girl’s house.

The girl was at home alone when the man entered using the key that was entrusted to his wife’s parents. When she asked the man how he got into her house, the man replied that the main door had not been locked.

The girl returned to her parents’ bedroom, with the man following. Using the girl’s laptop, both watched pornography together before the man undressed the girl. He then removed his own clothes. The two then went to the girl’s bedroom where the man molested the girl.

While committing the offence, the man showed the girl a pornographic cartoon and touched her as she watched the video. The two then showered separately before the man left to pick up his wife at MBS.

The next day, the girl asked her mother to retrieve the key to the main gate of the house from Mr and Mrs Sim. She repeated the request the following day before going to sleep, telling her mother about the molest. On 4 December, the girl told her mother again about what the man had done.

Two days later, the mother went to the man’s house alone and confronted him. He denied any wrongdoing and his wife pleaded with the victim’s mother to give the man another chance.

Later that day, the man, his wife and Mr and Mrs Sim visited the girl’s house to speak to her mother and grandmother. He admitted to showing the girl obscene videos and touching her inappropriately.

On 7 December, the girl’s mother brought her to lodge a police report. The man’s DNA was later found on the girl’s underwear.

For each count of molesting a girl under 14, the man faces up to five years’ jail, or fine, or caning, or with any combination of punishments.

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