SINGAPORE — When a feng shui master told him to have sex with a virgin in order to avoid a calamity, the 50-year-old man chose his own biological daughter.
He raped his youngest child, then aged 11, when her mother and older sister were out grocery shopping.
The man, then a 47-year-old stall assistant, was jailed for 23 years on Monday (18 October) after he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated statutory rape and one count of aggravated sexual assault by penetration.
Both charges and seven other counts of molest and possessing obscene films - which were taken into consideration - occurred in 2018.
All parties in the case cannot be named due to a gag order to protect the victim's identity. The victim is now 14 years old.
Facts of the case
The family, consisting of the parents, the victim, and her elder sister and elder brother, lived in a four-room flat where they had a flexible sleeping arrangement. While the brother kept to his own room, the parents and two girls often shared beds.
Between October and December 2018, the man molested the victim under her clothes as she slept on the same bed as her. He stopped after a while and told her not to tell anyone about the incident.
The victim subsequently avoided sleeping with him alone, and would share a bed with her mother and sister as well. The man then sought opportunities in the day to prey on her.
On weekends, the victim’s mother and elder sister went grocery shopping, leaving the victim alone at home with her father. On weekdays, the mother would be at work, while the elder sister went out to study.
On two occasions, between October and December 2018, while they were alone at home, the man entered the master bedroom where the girl was lying on the bed to sexually abuse her. He then asked her to remove her clothes while he undressed himself. He raped her on one occasion and sexually assaulted her on the other.
The girl was reluctant to comply and felt pain from the assaults, but feared the man’s wrath. On both occasions, the man narrowly avoided the return of his wife and eldest daughter by a few minutes.
The victim kept mum about the incident as she did not want her parents to divorce. She also feared that her mother would scold her, as the woman had told her before not to let anyone touch her.
Avoiding 'life threatening mishap'
The offences came to light only after the victim’s behaviour in school took a downturn in 2019 and she was caught using an e-cigarette and drinking alcohol. She broke down in school when asked about her behaviour, saying that her father had “touched her”. The school counsellor and the Ministry of Social and Family Development (MSF) were alerted. MSF officers brought the victim to lodge a police report in August 2019.
The victim also reported repetitive thoughts of the offending acts during her Primary Six Primary School Leaving Examinations.
The man admitted to sexually abusing his daughter as he was advised by a feng shui master to have sex with a virgin to "see blood" by the end of 2018 as it was the only way to protect himself from a "life threatening mishap" in 2019.
The feng shui master offered to help him procure the virgin in order to avoid the tragedy, according to the defence. However he did not take up the offer as it would have cost 2,000 ringgit. He could not explain why he had picked the victim, except that he was sexually aroused by her, according to the prosecution. He then planned to "have sex" with her.
The man was assessed by the Institute of Mental Health and was found not to be intellectually disabled or of unsound mind, despite having a strong family history of intellectual disability. He did not have any mental illness and was found fit to stand trial.
The man's lawyers, Audrey Koo and John Koh, sought 19 years' jail for him, while the prosecution sought a total of 23 years' jail, which includes jail time in lieu of caning. The man cannot be caned as he is 50 years old now.
"Our client was deeply disturbed by the feng shui master’s predictions. Fears about this prophesied tragedy plagued our client constantly for months after and he eventually committed the offences that are the subject of the current charges he faces," said Koo.
Koo added that her client dropped out of primary school to work at construction sites to earn a living. He previously had a close-knit relationship with his wife of 18 years and also cares for an elder brother who is suspected to have a mild intellectual disability.
Justice Pang Khang Chau noted that the man had shown premeditation by waiting for his wife and elder daughter to leave the house, and had also taken the advice of the feng shui master.
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