SINGAPORE — A man was found guilty of raping his biological daughter twice at knifepoint by a High Court judge on Wednesday (3 June).
In sentencing the 53-year-old man, Justice Hoo Sheau Peng noted that she considered the 28-year-old woman’s account of events to be “cogent and coherent” – her father had argued that she had initiated the events.
“In the face of rigorous cross-examination, the complainant did not waver. She remained firm about her version of the offences. Importantly, she did not embellish her evidence to strengthen her case,” said the judge in pronouncing the verdict to a courtroom attended by the prosecution and defence counsel. The accused appeared via video-link.
Justice Hoo noted that the victim’s testimony was both “internally” and “externally” consistent with supporting evidence presented by the prosecution, represented by Deputy Public Prosecutor Ng Yiwen and Kavita Uthrapathy.
Upon examining the evidence, the judge concluded that the victim, then 23, did not frame her father, then 48. Both cannot be named to protect the victim’s identity.
In contrast, the judge found the father’s evidence to be lacking and unconvincing, with plenty of “unsatisfactory aspects”.
She found the man guilty on all nine charges which he claimed trial to in September. These are, two counts of aggravated rape, one of aggravated sexual assault, one count each of aggravated outrage of modesty and outrage of modesty, and two counts each of criminal intimidation and voluntarily causing hurt.
Before the incident on 27 March 2016, father and daughter had been chatting and drinking alcohol at their flat. The woman then fell asleep and awoke to her father touching her private parts over her shorts.
Her father was naked when she opened her eyes. He then held a penknife blade against his daughter’s neck and said, “Don’t shout, I’ll slash you”, before raping her twice. He also forced her to perform other sexual acts. When the woman tried to wrestle the weapon away, the man punched and strangled her.
Daughter “felt horny”: accused
The man testified during the trial that the acts had been consensual. His defence counsel, Lau Wen Jin, told the court that the charge should be amended to incest, as his client had reacted to an act which the victim allegedly initiated.
According to the man, the pair first had consensual sex twice on 25 March 2016, after consuming alcohol. He denied using violence or threats on his daughter.
As the two were alone in the bedroom in the wee hours of the morning, the woman kissed him and forced him to perform sexual acts on her, according to the man, who claimed he knew he was making a mistake but gave in to her nevertheless.
“She said she felt horny and she said cannot control herself and she said that there was no one at home and told me to do it and make her happy,” he testified in November last year.
He added that he had never hit her and would just give in to her, even if she scolded him.
“Her happiness is everything to her and only her happiness is important for her, she doesn’t care about what others will think.”
However, the judge described the man’s testimony that his daughter seduced him on two days “inherently incredible”.
Justice Hoo observed that the man’s actions in the aftermath of the incident contradicted his own story.
“The accused fabricated evidence to strengthen his case... I find the accused to be a completely untruthful witness, who made more and more allegations against the complainant in the course of his evidence,” said the judge. “For completeness, there could not have been any mistake of fact on the accused’s part as to the lack of consent by the complainant to his attack.”
The judge accepted the daughter’s version of events, which she said showed her lack of consent to the sexual acts.
The man will be sentenced on 27 July.
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