Man guilty of sexually abusing daughter

Offences took place in their family home when she was between 11 and 13 years old

One evening in April 2014, a 13-year-old girl sent a long Whats App message to her mother, with a sickening revelation - she had been sexually abused by her father.

"I love Dad... but I hate Dad when he does that to me. I am confused. I do not know how to handle this anymore. Most of the time when Dad did those things I want (sic) to tell you but I am scared," she wrote.

Yesterday, the girl sat with her mother and other relatives as the court found her father, 42, guilty of 10 charges of sexual offences, including four counts of sexual assault by penetration.

The offences were committed in the family flat from the end of 2011 to April 2014, when she was aged between 11 and 13.

"I feel a little sense of relief but I'm still waiting for March 20," the girl, now 16, told The Straits Times. That is when her father is expected to be sentenced.

IN DESPAIR

Dad always say he loves me... but Dad does things that are not right to me. I love Dad... but I hate Dad when he does that to me. I am confused. I do not know how to handle this anymore. Most of the time when Dad did those things I want to tell you but I am scared. I am very scared that you will quarrel with Dad... I SMS because I cannot face you if I tell you this thing... I do not want to see you cry because it will make me feel guilty throughout my life...I am afraid to go home... I am very afraid. I am also afraid you will not believe me... Why would I text you about this thing if it is not true? I do not want to go home... I feel afraid... I feel that I am dirty. Very very dirty.

THE VICTIM, in a text message to her mum.

The teen, who was in her school uniform, had attended every day of her father's six-day trial with her mother, who has since divorced him. The girl said she was "speechless" at parts of his testimony but believed that "truth will prevail".

Among other things, he suggested she could have made up the allegations to get back at him for disciplining her. He had also claimed it was not possible for him to have done some of the sexual acts, given the size and condition of his genitals, which are deformed from an enlargement procedure.

In convicting the man, Judicial Commissioner Aedit Abdullah said there was no evidence the allegations were trumped up. He said the accused's claim about his genitals did not create reasonable doubt, noting that he did not mention this during police investigations.

He also found the teen's testimony to be "unusually convincing".

She had testified that most of the abuse took place in the master bedroom as she would use the computer in that room for school projects.

Her father would ensure the door was closed and locked before carrying out the sex acts.

Her mother had testified that a few times, she found the door locked but assumed her daughter did not want to be disturbed while doing her schoolwork.

The girl said she kept quiet as she was afraid the family would break up. But after yet another assault - on April 15, 2014 - she decided she had had enough. She texted her mother while she was at school and was prepared to stay at her aunt's place if her mother doubted her.

After getting over the shock, her mother replied 12 minutes later: "I love you. You have me always."

The next day, the woman threw her husband, then a food stall assistant, out of the flat. Three weeks later, she made a police report and filed for divorce.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on February 16, 2017, with the headline 'Man guilty of sexually abusing daughter'. Print Edition | Subscribe