20 years jail, 24 lashes for man who sexually abused wife's underaged brother

·Senior Reporter
·4-min read
A boy crouching, hiding his face.
A boy crouching, hiding his face. (PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — A man sodomised his young brother-in-law for over four years, starting from before he married the victim’s sister.

After his offences came to light, the man fled before he could be arrested. While he was on the run for four years, he remarried and had a child with his new wife.

The 37-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of the victim, was jailed for 20 years and given the maximum 24 strokes of the cane on Monday (25 January), after he pleaded guilty to two charges of aggravated sexual assault of the victim, with three similar charges taken into consideration for his sentencing.

The man began targeting his former brother-in-law when the latter was 10 years old. At the time, the man had just started dating the victim’s sister in 2008. The sister, who was close to the victim, sometimes brought him along on her dates with the man. The couple would also bring the young boy to Ang Mo Kio Swimming Complex.

Told to keep a secret

At the end of 2008, when the man stayed over at his girlfriend’s flat, he shared a mattress with the victim in the living room while the other family members slept in their rooms. The victim was awakened that night when he felt his shorts being pulled down by the man.

The man then rubbed his penis against the boy’s anus, to the latter’s discomfort. The assault ended when the boy left to use the toilet.

Later that year, the couple took the boy to the swimming complex and the man sodomised the victim while in a shower stall. He then told the boy to keep the incident a secret.

“The boy did not tell anyone about the incident as he was afraid that his parents would scold him for what happened or that the accused would break up with his sister,” the prosecution told the court.

The man continued bringing the boy to the swimming complex once every two months. There, he would sexually abuse him in the same way, telling to boy to keep mum about it each time it happened.

The couple married on 22 November 2009, and the man moved in with the family.

In 2011, the boy, then 13, found himself alone at home with the man after his sister had gone out with his parents.

Using the “Find My iPhone” application on his phone, the man then checked on his wife’s position and saw that she was still a distance away. He asked the boy to put his eye on the peep-hole of the main door and to tell him when his family members were coming home.

He then sodomised the victim again. The sexual assault continued until November or December 2011, when the victim had an argument with his sister and the man. He stopped talking to them for a while and the sexual assaults stopped.

The abuse resumed between March and April 2012.

The victim only came to know that the man’s actions was wrong after watching an episode of Crime Watch, which featured an adult sexually assaulting a young boy. He then asked his father if it was wrong for the adult to have sexually assaulted the boy.

The victim’s father told him it was wrong and forbidden. “Sensing that the victim wanted to tell him something but appeared uncomfortable, the victim’s father asked the victim’s mother to speak with the victim,” said the prosecution.

The victim later revealed to his mother that the man had been sexually abusing him. The parents told their daughter who confronted the man. The man admitted to his wrongdoing and his wife filed for a divorce, which was finalised on 14 December 2015. The wife lodged a police report on 17 November 2014.

After the man was called up by the police for his statement to be recorded, he became uncontactable and avoided attempts by the police to reach him. A police gazette was issued against him and he was arrested almost four years later, on 4 December 2018. By then, he had remarried and had a child with his new wife.

Emotionally affected

After he was arrested, the man was sent for psychiatric assessment where he was assessed to have an adjustment disorder from the breakdown of his first marriage.

However, there was no contributory link between this condition and the offences. He denied having sexual fantasies of underaged persons, but a psychiatrist deemed that it was possible he suffered from paedophilic disorder given his sexual arousal during the offences.

He was also assessed to have a moderate risk of re-offending.

The victim is now 22 years old, and while he was assessed to not have post-traumatic stress disorder, he was still emotionally affected by the incidents, and felt sadness and anger when his friends joked about homosexuality.

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