A 46-year-old man in Singapore has been sentenced to 29 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for sexually abusing his biological daughter over a period of nearly five years.
Convicted after claiming trial to 15 charges
According to court documents seen by Mothership, the victim was 10 years old when the sexual abuse began.
The man cannot be named due to a gag order protecting the victim's identity.
He was convicted after claiming trial to 15 charges of molesting and sexually assaulting his daughter from 2010 to 2014.
He had married the victim's mother in 1998. They have three children.
Their marriage was "fraught with frequent arguments", court documents stated.
Sometime in 2010, the man began to experience problems in his marriage with his wife.
Following a decrease in their sexual intimacy, he turned to his daughter to satisfy his sexual urges.
The first time
The first instance of sexual abuse occurred in 2010.
The victim was awoken from her sleep when she felt someone hugging her from behind and touching her private parts.
She then experienced a sharp pain as her father sexually assaulted her.
The next day, the victim approached her father to enquire about the previous night.
He told her it was "sex" and that "this is what mummy and daddy do".
He also told her not to tell anyone about it, and said he would teach her more along the way.
The victim remained unaware that the sexual acts were wrong.
The sexual abuse escalated
A few nights after that, the man repeated the same sexual acts on his daughter. However, the fondling escalated to penetrative acts.
He would sexually violate the victim three to four times a week when the family was sleeping at night.
The victim had felt pain, but bore with it as her father said she would "become accustomed to it".
The first incident of fellatio occurred sometime in 2010.
When it happened, the victim told her father that she felt disgusted and did not like what she was doing.
However, her father told her that she would "get used to it".
Continued in 2011
The sexual abuse persisted in 2011 after the irretrievable breakdown of the man's marriage.
By then, he and his wife had ceased all forms of sexual intimacy.
He continued to use his daughter to satiate his urges, to the extent of sodomising her.
The first instance of sodomy occurred sometime in 2011, while the victim was alone at home.
The victim testified that this was "the most painful experience".
She told her father to stop as it was painful, but he dismissively said that she would get used to it.
She continued to experience pain over the next few days and had trouble going to the toilet.
She realised what he did was wrong, but he still continued
In 2011, while she was still being sexually abused, the victim attended sexual education classes in school and realised that her father's sexual acts with her were wrong.
However, when she spoke to him, he simply told her not to listen to her teacher.
He also told her, according to court documents: "Just do as I tell you what to do".
He even warned her not to tell anyone about the sexual activities, saying that she would "lose a father" if she did.
The sexual abuse persisted despite the victim’s resistance.
Her father constantly overpowered her, and she eventually "became resigned to his sexual demands as she knew that any attempt to resist him would be futile", court documents wrote.
Divorced his wife in 2012
In 2012, the victim's parents finalised their divorce.
However, the victim continued living with her father, who had a girlfriend by then.
He could only meet his girlfriend twice a month, so he continued sexually abusing his daughter to fulfil his sexual urges.
She ran way from home
The victim ran away to her mother sometime in December 2013 to escape the abuse.
However, she returned to him after he asked for a second chance and vowed to stop all sexual activities with her.
He did not keep his promise.
The victim ran away again in 2014 after months of "relentless sexual abuse" and sought refuge with her mother.
Her father eventually agreed to let her stay with her mother on condition that she would not reveal the incidents of sexual abuse to anyone.
The victim agreed.
She only told her mother that the man had not been a good father to her. She did not reveal anything else.
The abuse came to light in 2017
In November 2017, the sexual abuse only came to light after the victim's stepfather questioned her disdain towards her biological father.
As she trusted her stepfather, the victim told him about the abuse. The following week, she told her mother.
After much persuasion from her mother, the victim filed a police report the next day.
Impact of the abuse
The victim had testified that she had a hard time trying to get over the incidents of sexual abuse.
The sexual abuse had deprived her of a childhood and changed her perception of the role of a father, court documents wrote.
It had also affected her sleep and performance in school.
Even after she moved in with her mother, she continued to experience problems sleeping at night.
Prosecution said that the man showed no remorse
The prosecutors for the case had sought for at least 31 years' jail and 24 strokes of the cane for the man.
According to the prosecution, the man had leveraged on his daughter's trust and his significant influence in her life to "violate her with impunity".
The prosecution also said that the man felt no remorse for his actions.
At trial, he made "scandalous assertions" about the victim in an attempt to humiliate and discredit her.
The prosecution said that the man's conduct at trial and the highly aggravated nature of the offences merit a sentence that is "firmly punitive and deterrent".
The prosecution added:
"No child should have to endure what the victim has had to at the accused's hands. The accused has utterly failed to act in a manner befitting of a father figure, exploiting his biological daughter in the sanctity of her own home, and exploiting the trust that she reposed in him.
Public interest demands that a particularly significant sentence is imposed to fully encapsulate the seriousness of the offences and society’s abhorrence for such actions."
Defence counsel argued that the man was 'sincerely apologetic'
The defence counsel, however, had asked for a jail sentence of not more than 18 years, and 15 strokes of the cane, as reported by CNA.
Defence lawyer Mohammad Shafiq Haja Maideen argued that his client was "sincerely apologetic" for his actions.
Shafiq also said, according to CNA, that his client had provided for the victim since she was born and had been a "good father" until he committed the offences.
For each charge of sexual assault by penetration, an offender can been jailed for up to 20 years and given at least 12 strokes of the cane.
For molesting a minor under 14, an offender can be jailed for up to five years, fined, caned, or any combination of the three.
Top photo by Mothership.