Convicted molester gets another jail term

Man serving time for abusing niece is given additional 14 months for molesting sis-in-law

A 67-year-old man, who is serving a 24-month jail term for molesting his underage niece, was yesterday sentenced to another 14 months for molesting his sister-in-law.

The man cannot be named to protect the victims' identities.

A district court heard that in 2011, the man's then 13-year-old niece reported to the police that she had been molested that same year.

During the course of investigations, the man's sister-in-law, then 37, told the police that she had been molested by him in 2005.

The prosecution proceeded on one charge and, in September last year, the man was convicted of molesting his niece after a trial.

He later appealed against his conviction and sentence, but was unsuccessful.

Yesterday, he pleaded guilty to the other charge, which had been stood down pending the conclusion of the earlier case.

The court heard that the sister-in-law was admitted to hospital for migraine in late 2005.

At about 10am on Nov 29, the man insisted on massaging her.

His wife, who is the victim's sister, was in the same hospital room.

The man drew the curtain partially around his sister-in-law's bed.

He then put his hands under her hospital gown and massaged her entire body, molesting her in the process.

She was uncomfortable and embarrassed, but unable to resist or call out to her sister as she was drowsy and weak due to medication.

The victim did not tell her sister what had happened, and her mother advised her not to jeopardise family ties by reporting the matter to the police.

Noting that the victim was hospitalised and in a "highly vulnerable state", Deputy Public Prosecutor Eunice Lau asked that the man be jailed between 12 and 18 months.

In mitigation, defence lawyer Sadhana Rai said the man was remorseful and committed to not massaging females again.

The lawyer, who asked for a jail term of nine to 12 months, said the man's intention in performing the "cultural" massage was to ease the victim's pain.

The man's 14-month jail term, which took effect yesterday, was ordered by District Judge Liew Thiam Leng to run concurrently with his existing prison term.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on November 24, 2015, with the headline 'Convicted molester gets another jail term'. Print Edition | Subscribe