In what was described by the judge as a “disturbing” case, a 35-year-old man was convicted of raping his biological daughter multiple times on Monday (15 October).
The technician, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his daughter, now 18, was found guilty of two charges of rape by the High Court following a 10-month trial.
While the man’s convictions involve two offences committed in November 2014 and January 2015, the girl, then 14, testified that her father had raped her a total of eight times during that period. The offences took place at a flat that they shared with her mother and two younger siblings.
Assaulted while she was asleep
On six occasions, the father had allegedly committed the acts on his daughter while she was sleeping.
On the other two occasions – for which he was convicted – the father had forced himself on his daughter while her two younger siblings were at home. Her mother was away on both occasions.
In the first of these two incidents, the daughter was changing in the flat’s common toilet on 19 November 2014, when he father forced himself inside and raped her. He then told his daughter to clean herself up before leaving.
Less than two months later, on 9 January 2015, the daughter was heading into the master bedroom to retrieve her phone when her father grabbed her and carried her to the bedroom which she shared with her younger sister.
The father then closed the door of the master bedroom, which her siblings were in, and locked the bedroom door. He covered his daughter’s face with a blanket before raping her.
Unwilling to seek help
The girl later confided in her then boyfriend about what had happened. He then secretly booked the girl an appointment to see a school counsellor on 13 January 2015.
The boyfriend, who was also the girl’s schoolmate, did so without her knowledge so that the girl would not avoid it. She had been unwilling to seek help as she feared breaking up her family.
The school counsellor informed the school principal about the matter before referring it to the Ministry of Social and Family Development. The father was arrested on the same day. His semen was later found on the crotch area of his daughter’s shorts.
No reason for victim to lie: Prosecution
The prosecution’s case turned on the argument that the girl had no motive to fabricate allegations on her father and that her testimony was consistent throughout the cross examination.
“It borders on impossible for (the daughter) to fabricate the minute details which are evident in her account of the rapes… and thereafter take steps to ensure that critical corroborative evidence was recovered,” the prosecution said.
The father’s lawyer, A Revi Shanker, argued that the girl had levelled rape allegation against her father to secure freedom from her parents. The defence also attempted to call into question the girl’s evidence by pointing out that she had belatedly revealed the rape incidents and failed to call for help.
Justice Lee Seiu Kin said that he found that the prosecution had proved beyond reasonable doubt that the accused was guilty of the charges against him.
The judge said that he found several aspects of the case that were “very persuasive” in proving the father guilty. These include the presence of his semen on his daughter’s shorts, the girl’s “unusually compelling testimony” and the corroborative accounts of her friends and school counsellor.
“This has been a difficult case in the sense that the charges against the accused are disturbing charges because it involved a daughter accusing her biological father of rape,” said Lee.
He noted that it was “all the more important to scrutinise the evidence carefully” to ensure a proper finding of fact was made.
The father will be sentenced at a later date. He faces a jail term of up to 20 years, along with a fine or caning on each charge.