Man jailed 20 years for raping teenage niece

Sentence for 54-year-old also takes into consideration charges of sexual assault and outrage of modesty

A 54-year-old school canteen stall operator who raped his young niece three years ago was yesterday jailed for 20 years.

The man, who cannot be named to protect the identity of his niece, now 17, pleaded guilty to one charge of rape, two charges of sexual assault and one charge of outrage of modesty.

Another three charges of rape, outrage of modesty and insulting the modesty of a woman were taken into consideration.

The girl's sexual abuse lasted from 2010 up until December 2012.

The High Court heard that on Dec 20, 2012, the man, knowing his wife was taking a nap in the master bedroom of their flat, went to his niece, then 14, in the living room.

He pulled down his shorts and forced his niece to perform sexual acts on him, before raping her.

He stopped when he heard sounds from the bedroom, and went to check if his wife - who is the girl's paternal aunt - was still asleep. Seeing that she was, the man returned to the living room and raped his niece again.

He stopped when he again heard sounds from the bedroom, and the girl took the opportunity to run out of the flat. Shortly after, she returned home, filled a cup with water, bleach and soap powder, and drank it in a bid to commit suicide.

When the girl started vomiting violently, the man dissuaded his wife from taking her to hospital, saying that it would result in a police report.

Instead, his wife took the girl to a private clinic and, as instructed by the man, did not tell the doctor what she drank.

A few days later, the man's wife, after knowing what had happened, offered the girl $50.

The man's actions came to light when the girl was queried on her school absences in January 2013. She told a school counsellor about the sexual abuses and a police report was made.

The first time her uncle abused her was when he violated her when she was 12 years old. In 2012, he molested her by squeezing her breasts and touching her buttocks.

In sentencing the man yesterday, Justice Lee Seiu Kin agreed with the prosecution that there were aggravating factors in the case. The man had violated his niece's trust, and possibly caused her long-lasting trauma.

In a victim impact statement read in court, the girl said she now fears males and has difficulty trusting others. She also has nightmares and flashbacks to the incident.

The man was spared caning due to his age.

A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 27, 2015, with the headline 'Man jailed 20 years for raping teenage niece'. Print Edition | Subscribe