SINGAPORE - A former security officer who sexually abused his six-year-old stepdaughter was jailed for eight years and ordered to be given 12 strokes of the cane on Tuesday.
The 38-year-old pleaded guilty to sexual penetration of a minor without her consent in mid-2012. Two other charges of using criminal force to outrage her modesty were taken into consideration.
Deputy Public Prosecutor Claire Poh said the accused and the victim's mother, aged 31, were married around May 2011. The victim was then about five years old and called him "Daddy" or "Max".
The couple's relationship deteriorated and they were divorced in September 2013. The security officer however continued to live with the victim and her mother until around February 2014.
Investigations revealed that sometime in mid-2012, the accused touched the victim's private parts and violated her with his finger while playing with the child in the living room. Her mother was asleep in the unit at the time.
He subsequently bought the child clothes and told her not to tell anyone about what had happened.
Sometime in May last year, the mother brought the victim to KK Women's and Children's Hospital as the child had some discharge from her private parts. She was diagnosed with a sexually transmitted disease but it is not conclusive whether she had contracted Chlamydia from the accused.
"What is important is that he had, by his actions, callously exposed the victim to the risk of such diseases," said Ms Poh.
Highlighting aggravating factors, she said the accused was in a position of trust and authority. He started to sexually exploit the victim for his own sexual gratification barely a year into his marriage.
She said the victim, an extremely vulnerable person, had to endure a prolonged period of sexual abuse spanning across a period of two to three years.
The accused, who had no lawyer, pleaded for leniency. He said he totally lost control of his actions at the time and will not commit any offence. He could have been jailed for up to 20 years and liable to fine or to caning.