Man who repeatedly raped mistress' daughter gets 34 years, 24 strokes

·Senior Reporter
(PHOTO: Getty Images)
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

He lived with his wife and mistress under the same roof but still chose to sexually abuse the latter’s seven-year-old daughter for years to “quench his insatiable sexual appetite”.

These were the prosecution’s words said at the High Court on Monday (26 February) where the 47-year-old man was sentenced to 34 years’ jail and 24 strokes of the cane after he pleaded guilty to four counts of raping a victim below the age of 14.

Another 17 counts of outraging modesty, sexual penetration of a minor under 16 and sexual exploitation were taken into consideration for sentencing. The man committed the acts between 2010 and 2016.

None of the parties in the case can be named due to a court-imposed gag order.

Sordid affair

The man and the girl’s mother, a divorcee, engaged in an extra-marital affair in 2006 – when the girl was four years old. According to Deputy Public Prosecutor David Khoo, the girl enjoyed spending time with the man and treated him as a father figure.

In 2010, the man stopped working as a taxi driver and offered to take care of the girl during the June and December school holidays. The girl’s mother agreed and, from 2010 to 2014, would drop the girl off at the man’s flat – which he shared with his wife and son – before she went to work.

From that time, the man would watch pornographic films in the girl’s presence and began molesting the girl, who was then aged seven.

The first incident occurred when the man and the girl were alone in the flat. He brought the girl into the master bedroom, undressed himself and the girl before rubbing his genitals against the girl.

The girl felt pain and protested but the man persisted. At the time, the girl did not know that the acts were wrong but did not like them as they were painful.

She told her mother about the assaults and the latter confronted the man. However, the man persisted in his actions.

According to the prosecution, the girl eventually stopped confiding in her mother as the latter would simply get angry with her but not intervene. The girl would comply to the man’s demands as she feared angering him.

The girl only realised that the acts were wrong three years after the abuse began, when she attended sex education classes in school. She felt suicidal after she learnt the nature of the sexual acts but acted normal as she did not know how to confront the man or confide in her teachers.

Escalating abuse

The sexual assaults escalated in 2014, after the girl and her mother moved in with the man’s family at the man’s suggestion.

The man told the girl’s mother that he would be able to take care of the pair and “instil better discipline” in the girl. He told his wife that the duo would stay in the flat’s study room.

The man’s wife had been the sole breadwinner of the family since the man became unemployed and the girl’s mother had been giving the man a monthly allowance for his personal expenses. The mother would also contribute $350 per month for household expenses.

After the girl moved in, the man began raping her and also forced her to perform oral sex on him in various parts of the flat, including the master bedroom and kitchen. The assaults usually occurred at night, or when the man was alone with the girl in the flat.

Eventually, the man became more brazen and preyed on the girl even as other family members were present. He would ask the girl to accompany him for showers in the kitchen toilet.

On several occasions, the girl’s mother caught the two showering together but both parties would deny having sex. The girl did so as she did not want her mother to confront the man.

The man even filmed the sexual intercourse between him and the victim on at least one occasion.

If the girl appeared uncooperative during the sexual acts or rejected the man, the latter would be infuriated and cause trouble in the family.

The man, according to the prosecution, was prone to violent outbursts and throwing things around the flat. He was also abusive towards his wife and the girl’s mother, and would assault the girl when she tried to protect her mother.

The man also installed tracking software on the mobile phones of the girl and his wife, so as to trace their whereabouts and eavesdrop on their conversations.

“All members of the household lived in fear of the (man) due to his violent and controlling personality,” said DPP Khoo.

The man’s wife divorced him in 2016 and left with her son as she could no longer stand his infidelity and violence. The man, the girl’s mother and the girl then moved into another Clementi flat which the girl’s mother owned.

Had enough

The offences came to light when the girl, then 13, could no longer tolerate the abuse.

She sought help from the man’s wife who referred her to a social worker. The social worker brought the girl to the police to lodge a report on 29 June 2016.

When the girl’s mother learnt about the police report, she informed the man that the police were looking for him. The man then confessed to the acts but blamed his wife and the girl’s mother for his actions.

He claimed he was forced into raping the girl as he wanted to take revenge on his wife and the girl’s mother for gossiping about him. He then sought forgiveness from the girl’s mother before asking her for $800, after which he attempted to avoid arrest.

He laid low for four days while meeting the girl’s mother for help and companionship before surrendering himself to the police on 4 July 2016.

In her victim impact statement, the girl – now 15 and living with her maternal grandparents – said that the offences caused her to feel very insecure and now fears being judged for the things that the man did to her.

The girl still suffers from flashbacks of the abuse and lives in fear that the man will take revenge on her.

According to the prosecution, the girl misses her mother, who has not visited her for a while. Her mother, however, has visited the man in prison up to four times a month, said DPP Khoo.

Describing the case as “one of the most heinous cases of sexual assault on a child that this court has seen”, Khoo sought a sentence of at least 34 years and 24 strokes of the cane.

“Despite being married with child, (the man) had an illicit affair with another woman and even brought his mistress and her child to live with him in his matrimonial home,” he said.

“Despite having two women (his wife and his mistress) at his disposal, he was unsatisfied. To quench his insatiable sexual appetite, he even raped his mistress’ child,” he added.

“He sexually abused the child for a protracted period of 7 years – robbing her of her innocence, exposing her to the risks of pregnancy and sexually transmitted diseases.”

The prosecution slammed the man’s actions as deliberate and an abuse of trust of a girl who treated him as a father figure.

The man’s lawyer, Henry Lim, who was assigned by the Criminal Legal Aid Scheme, said in his client’s mitigation that his client’s plea of guilt saved the girl from having to testify in court and relive the incident.

Lim asked for 30 years’ jail and 18 strokes of the cane for his client. For statutory rape, the man could have been jailed up to 20 years and fined or caned on each count.

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