Man who thrice rubbed groin against sleeping daughter, 9, jailed, caned

Wan Ting Koh
(PHOTO: Getty Images)

SINGAPORE — After a night of drinking, a man returned home to his sleeping daughter and rubbed his groin on her after being aroused.

The 44-year-old man, who cannot be named to protect his then nine-year-old daughter’s identity, repeated the act twice, all while his wife was overseas.

The man, who works as an administrative tutor and part-time tutor for primary school subjects, was jailed 21 months’ and given three strokes of the cane on Monday (16 December) after he pleaded guilty to one count of aggravated molest.

He cried while a letter in mitigation, submitted by his wife of 12 years, was read out in court by his lawyer T M Sinnadurai.

His wife, a 39-year-old Vietnamese, pleaded for leniency for her husband, stating that the man had been treating his daughter “quite well”.

“All along he has been hardworking and took care of us when I had lost my job. He tries to fulfil whatever we want until he was declared a bankrupt. Even my daughter still misses him even though she has been separated from him,” she said in the letter.

Now 11 years old, the daughter is currently in Vietnam for her school holidays.

“This is not his true character for what he has done, all these 12 years I know him he has been a kind and caring person… My husband has learned his lesson since the day he was arrested.”

The mother, who was present in court, added that the couple was “working very hard to make our marriage work and be responsible parents for our daughter”

“All I can say is that my husband is a good man and I believe he will remain a good person till the end.”

Mother told AWARE about offence

The incident came to light after the mother revealed the offences to the Association of Women for Action and Research (AWARE) while seeking help for marriage issues. AWARE then notified officers from the Ministry of Social and Family Development, which in turn told the police.

In May last year, after fetching his daughter home, the father left for a bout of drinking with his friends. Upon returning home, the man went to his daughter’s bedroom to take some clothes. He then noticed her sleeping on her side with her legs slightly open.

He lay down on the bed and hugged her from behind. Feeling sexually aroused, the man lined his underwear with tissue and rubbed his groin against the girl. After a while, he went to the toilet to shower.

He repeated the act later that month. The girl woke up on each occasion and realised it was her father rubbing his genitals against her, but she kept silent as she felt scared. She was also afraid of revealing the incidents to her mother as she feared her parents would quarrel.

But in August, she told her mother about the offences. The girl recounted that some boys at her school had joked about male and female private parts coming into contact and told her mother that this was “something daddy did to me”.

The following month, the father again molested his daughter in the same manner. His wife was overseas on all three occasions.

Man diagnosed with alcohol abuse disorder: IMH report

Deputy Public Prosecutor Chong Yong sought at least 23 months’ imprisonment and three strokes of the cane for the man, whom he said was voluntarily intoxicated when he committed the offences. The man has been diagnosed by the Institute of Mental Health with alcohol abuse disorder.

DPP Chong also described the acts as “sustained and repeated”.

“The offences all took place inside the victim’s own room and in her own bed. The accused struck only after the victim had already gone to sleep, and at times when there were no other adults at home the victim could turn to for help…the accused exploited his high degree of access to her,” said the prosecutor.

The man’s alcohol consumption prompted District Judge Samuel Chua to ask if he had an issue with alcohol, to which the man replied “Not really”.

The judge then asked if the man was able to control himself when he drank alcohol and the man replied “No”.

Said DJ Chua, “It may very well be that you have an issue with alcohol.”

He added, “If you do, then the first step to recovery is to recognise that you have an issue and that you seek treatment for the alcohol. So If you are hiding alcohol… and unable to control yourself in terms of the amount that you consume, if you do certain things that have caused you to regret… These are telltale signs that you may have an issue with alcohol.”

The man said “okay” in response.

For molesting a person under 14 years old, the man could have been jailed up to five years, and/or fined, and/or caned.

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