A 47-year-old Singaporean man was sentenced to 42 months' jail and six strokes of the cane on Tuesday (Jan. 18) for molesting his stepdaughter in 2019.
She was 12 years old then.
Neither the accused nor the victim can be named due to gag orders protecting the identity of the victim, who is now 14 years old.
According to court documents seen by Mothership, the accused had pleaded guilty to two counts of molestation.
Two other charges were taken into consideration in the accused's sentencing, including a molestation offence against his stepson, who was nine years old then.
Court documents stated that the accused was unemployed when he committed the offences.
He had been married to the victim's mother since 2016, and they lived with five children in a two-room flat.
At night, the children would take turns to sleep either on the couch, the three mattresses in the living room or on the bed in the bedroom.
The victim is the eldest daughter among four children from her mother's previous marriage.
The first time: Molested the victim while she was asleep
On the morning of Sep. 12, 2019, the victim was sleeping on the bed in the bedroom.
According to court documents, she was wearing a t-shirt and bra, with shorts and panties. Her younger brother was beside her on the bed.
The accused later entered the bedroom, and saw that the victim was asleep on the bed.
Feeling aroused, he approached the sleeping victim, and subsequently slipped his hand under the victim’s shorts to molest her over her undergarments.
Upon feeling contact at her private area, the victim woke up and saw the accused in the bedroom.
The accused then left the bedroom on the pretext that he was going to work.
Feeling disturbed, the victim sent WhatsApp messages to her biological father, disclosing what had happened.
Later that day, the victim also told her mother that the accused had touched her.
The second time: Molested the victim while she was asleep again
In the wee hours of Oct. 1, 2019, the victim was sleeping on the mattress on the floor of the living room.
Her younger brother, stepsister, mother, and the accused were also on the conjoined mattress.
The victim was sleeping on her back at the time, court documents stated.
She was wearing a t-shirt and bra, with shorts and panties.
Sometime later, the accused saw that the victim was sleeping with her legs apart.
Driven by lust, he felt the urge to molest the victim. He subsequently made skin-to-skin contact with the victim's private part.
Upon contact, the victim woke up as she felt a sharp pain in her private area. The accused subsequently pulled his hand away.
The victim then turned to her side. However, she felt fingers brushing against her inner thigh.
She turned her body and opened her eyes, and saw the accused standing near her leg.
The victim then made slight body movements and feigned scratching her hands to show that she was awake, hoping that the accused would go away.
But he remained standing there for around five minutes, according to court documents.
The accused then walked out of the bedroom, but returned shortly after. The victim turned her body away from him.
She subsequently felt the accused's fingers brushing her groin area down her inner thigh.
She screamed, and the accused went to the kitchen.
The victim’s mother woke up and asked victim what happened. She told her that the accused had touched her again.
The victim also texted her biological father again via WhatsApp to tell him what happened.
Later that evening, the accused admitted to the victim's mother that he had molested the victim.
On Oct. 2, 2019, the victim's biological father lodged a police report.
Investigations found that he had molested nine-year-old stepson
In the course of investigations, the accused admitted that he tried to penetrate the victim's private part with his fingers, but did not manage to do so she had woken up.
Investigations further revealed that the accused had also outraged the modesty of his then nine-year-old stepson.
In its submissions, the prosecution said that the accused's acts constitute "an egregious abuse of trust reposed in him and is reprehensible".
"Being the victim's stepfather, the accused clearly abused the trust that had been reposed in him as a father figure.
The victim herself revealed that she did not want to put her family in jeopardy as the accused was the sole bread-winner of their family and their rental flat was under the accused’s and her mother’s names."
The prosecution added that there was a "high degree of sexual exploitation" as the offences involved the intrusion of the victim's private parts.
Top image via Pixabay.