'He touched us': Man on trial for sexual abuse of ex-girlfriend's kids 20 years later

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
The shadows of two young children. (PHOTO: Getty Images)
The shadows of two young children. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man went on trial on Thursday (13 January) for sexually assaulting a pair of siblings, some two decades after the offences were allegedly first committed.

The man, now 48, is claiming trial to five charges involving the younger sister, now 29, and three charges involving her brother, now 30, when they were between seven and 13 years old. The siblings are the children of a woman that the accused dated from 1998 to 2006.

The charges involving the girl comprise four of molesting a person under 14, and one of attempted rape of the victim when she was under 14. The charges involving the boy include carnal intercourse against the order of nature by engaging in sexual acts with him, and one count of molest when he was under 14.

Another four charges, which the man indicated his intention to plead guilty to, will be stood down for the purposes of the trial. These involve failing to change his registered address, molesting the boy, and showing the girl images of nude women on his laptop and asking her to model their behaviour.

The offences were allegedly committed between 2000 and 2005. All parties in this case cannot be named to protect the identity of the victims.

Siblings, 21 witnesses to testify

Opening its case on Thursday, the prosecution, led by Deputy Public Prosecutor Gail Wong, said it would produce 23 witnesses, including the siblings and their mother.

According to the prosecution, the man met the siblings’ mother in January 1998 while they worked at a pub. After the mother introduced him to the siblings, he moved in with them. The children came to call him “papa”.

While their mother often worked and held different jobs, the man did not hold permanent jobs, and cared for the siblings while their mother was away.

The prosecution said it would lead evidence from the girl. The girl will testify that while at a flat in Ang Mo Kio between 2000 and 2001, she was sleeping but awoke to the man grinding his genitals against her. He then molested her skin on skin. On another occasion, he instructed her to lie on the bed before molesting her.

The girl will also testify that on another occasion, she drank a drink provided by the man and fell asleep. When she woke, she was unclothed and lying face down, with her legs tucked under her. The man then tried to rape her.

The man allegedly molested her on two other occasions, after they had moved to another flat along Pending Road in 2001.

He entered her bedroom while she was sleeping between 2003 and 2004 to molest her, and instructed her to pull down her shorts in 2005 so that he could perform an obscene act on her.

The boy will also give evidence on his most vivid memory of sexual abuse, which occurred when he was 11. He was sleeping when the man allegedly performed a sexual act on him. He had suffered from fainting spells during this period.

The couple broke up in 2006, the same year the woman chased him out of the house.

'We keep it from you for 10 years'

Even after the couple had broken up, the siblings kept the sexual assaults to themselves until 2016, when their mother argued with her daughter, whom she found rebellious.

The brother then sent a text to his mother through her phone revealing that the man used to “rape us”. He added, “All (my sister) wanted was your love… We keep it from you for 10 years…Because we know you work very hard.”

“Mama every time you were not around he’ll beat us till we faint. Even randomly while in our sleep even if late at night. He touched us and made us do weird things. Then whenever you’re around he pretends its nothing. And we didn’t tell you because we knew how hard you work. But sometimes I think my sister goes thru (sic) depression because of this and I know we are all used to be (sic) independent. Yet, she’s a girl after all and she always want to feel love but sometimes you were too busy.“

After the messages, the mother asked her children to lodge a police report and they did so on 13 December 2016.

However the police were unable to find the accused at his registered address. He was only arrested three years later on 19 May 2019 at Tuas Checkpoint. The man was assessed to have pedophilic disorder but was not of unsound mind.

The trial continues on Thursday.

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